It can be far too easy to buy sub-standard fire blankets in the UK. And the nature of shopping on the internet means you could buy one unsuspectingly.
At first glance, it would be hard to spot a fire blanket that is not up to British standard. This is because the cheap ones can still feature the CE Mark, and are even subjected to testing overseas.
But one way to ensure you keep safe is to ensure you’re buying fire blankets which actually have the British Standard Kitemark on them. That way, you know it will work as you would expect, should you ever need to use it.
When you are buying any potential life-saving equipment, it should carry the Kitemark. That’s the case whether it’s a fire blanket, smoke alarm or fire extinguisher.
Saying that it “complies with” or is “manufactured to” a particular standard isn’t enough. The only way you can be completely sure that those statements are true is if professionals have subjected it to testing.
Buy Online Safely
It can be easy to find things at a cheap price, but it is harder to find a genuinely good deal, by which we mean value for money and safe.
So before you buy anything online, you should always make checks to ensure you’re giving money to a genuine, trustworthy company.
You can do this by first looking at their contact details. Stick to companies which are UK-based. That is because many other countries don’t uphold the same high standards that we have when it comes to safety.
If you have any questions, ring the seller. A genuine place will provide an easy way to contact them and have no issues with answering your queries.
Also, don’t assume that because an item is for sale on eBay, Amazon Marketplace, or any other such company, it guarantees quality. They don’t approve the products for sale by other sellers, so make sure to check the seller’s credentials.
If the seller doesn’t specialise in safety equipment, then can they be certain that what they’re selling is genuine? It’s possible that they could be blissfully unaware.
These are questions you might want to ask yourself.
Almost all the top-selling fire blankets on both Amazon and eBay do not look like genuine products.
You can’t always trust what the seller writes in the product description. The “top seller of fire blankets” on Amazon.co.uk states the following in their one-line description.
“Kitemarked fire blanket recognised by fire safety professionals. Manufactured to BSI certified ISO 9001.”
This is all false. ISO 9001 is not a fire blanket standard, and BSI is not a standard but rather the body which oversees standards.
Scroll down the page to the Customer Questions section, and someone asks: “Is this certified to BS EN 1869:1997?”
The answer starts off by saying “I have checked our fire blanket but it doesn’t have a Kite Mark or any indication of a BS or otherwise standard.”
However, there is an overwhelming number of people leaving 5-star reviews. Thankfully, a majority of them haven’t had to use them. And hopefully, they never will.
When you do eventually see genuine products on these websites, they are double the price. This is because you’re paying for a quality and tested product.
Another give away of a sub-par product is a poor quality image.
Why Buy A Genuine Fire Blanket?
A fire blanket works by smothering the flames and starving the fire of oxygen, which it needs to continue burning.
The advice is that you should always replace a fire blanket after you’ve used it. That is because even the slightest imperfection can result in the blanket being completely ineffective.
A fire blanket which doesn’t work may actually help to spread a fire quicker, and it could instead escalate in severity.
The BBC tested cheap fire blankets, and the results were shocking.
Rather than putting out the flames, the fire blankets actually caught alight themselves.
With more than half of all house fires originating from the kitchen, the fire blanket is an important piece of kit.
Not only does it give you peace of mind, but it could quite easily stop a fire in your home and save your life.
So make sure you have one which works. And to do that, it’s best to spend a bit more on a quality, non-dangerous fire blanket.
Use common sense when buying any safety equipment to make sure you’re best protected. And if the price is too good to be true, then it probably is.