Insulating Safety Blankets 101

Arc suppression and high-voltage insulating safety blankets play a critical role in safeguarding workers, equipment, and system integrity in environments with energized electrical components. These blanket barriers are available in various styles and sizes to provide optimal protection from electrical arcing and shocks. At Burlington Safety Laboratory Inc., we offer an array of safety blankets and accessories to prevent electrical fires and enhance worker and operational safety.

Safety Blanket Benefits

Safety blankets complement personal protective equipment (PPE). Arc suppression and low-voltage insulating blankets, two main safety blanket varieties, offer multiple advantages.

Arc Suppression Safety Blanket Benefits
These safety blankets are advantageous for:

  • Improving personnel and equipment safety. Arc faults from faulty wiring or overheated devices can cause substantial damage to property and equipment, not to mention worker injury or death. Using arc suppression blankets helps deflect or absorb the energy and heat that escape when arcing occurs for optimal protection of workers and vulnerable equipment.
  • Minimizing downtime. The above safety factors have the added benefit of helping to prevent unscheduled downtime in connected equipment, along with any accompanying productivity and revenue losses. This also supports a longer lifespan in electrical equipment.
  • Reducing fire risk. By limiting the effect of an arc fault or blast event, safety blankets help prevent ignition and combustion, lowering the risk of electrical fires.

Low-Voltage Insulating Safety Blanket Benefits
Low-voltage blankets also provide optimal protection, with their benefits including:

  • Providing shock protection. When workers unintentionally come into contact with electrical machinery, they can receive harmful electric shocks. Safety blankets prevent that direct contact from occurring through their electrically insulative properties.
  • Enabling versatile use. Given their flexible design and varied sizes, low-voltage insulating safety blankets are simple to use in covering or wrapping diverse electrical machinery.
  • Achieving regulatory compliance. Industry safety regulations covering personnel safety and fire prevention often require that companies use safety blankets or related barriers for compliant operations.

Safety Blanket Types

Our blankets are available in various types and styles depending on the necessary functionality. Selecting the appropriate one for your operation is vital for ensuring the blanket performs effectively. Options include:

  • Arc suppression blankets. These blankets are generally made up of layers of flame-resistant (FR) fibers and specialty materials such as aramid fibers like Kevlar®. They are designed to protect against the extreme hazards of arc flash and blast rather than specifically guarding against shocks.
  • Low-voltage insulating blankets. Low-voltage blankets typically consist of Type I natural rubber, Type II synthetic rubber such as neoprene or EPDM, or specialty polymer blends. They offer the flexibility, insulating properties, and strength necessary to protect against unwanted contact with electrical current and prevent shock.
  • Solid blankets. These flexible, tear-resistant blankets can have reinforced eyelets and beaded edging to lend them strength. Per ASTM standards, solid blankets are capable of retaining their dielectric strength and physical characteristics. Utilizing an EPDM blend, these high-quality blankets can also be resistant to ozone.
  • Slotted blankets. Slotted-style insulating blankets are available in Classes 2 and 4 for specialty applications, providing added versatility for improved coverage. They typically come in Type I natural rubber or a Type II polymer with added flexibility and superior weathering and aging resistance.
  • Blankets with and without hook and pile. These types of low-voltage insulating blankets are another option for covering energized machinery. They utilize hook and pile closures to fasten around equipment.
  • Roll blankets. These blankets come uncut in 30-foot-long rolls that are 36 inches wide. At their facility, a client can then easily cut the material into whatever size best suits their needs, thus providing a custom solution on-site.

Applications of Safety Blankets

Common environments for safety blankets include power plants, switchyards, manufacturing operations, telecommunications facilities, railroads, and more. They assist power line contractors, industrial workers, utility companies, and any organization looking for worker and equipment protection or electrical fire prevention.

Arc suppression blankets serve as flame-retardant suppression barriers for electrical devices like cables, circuit breakers, or transformers. Covering overloaded or short-circuiting equipment with them can quickly help limit arc or electrical fire spread. Low-voltage insulating blankets wrap around any electrical components or equipment at risk of arc flashes to protect employees from getting shocked while they work near live electrical machines. As the name suggests, they have insulating characteristics due to their material construction, which is typically rubber or a related insulator.

Safety Blankets From Burlington Safety Laboratory

Safety blankets protect against arc flashes or blasts and electrical shock, enhancing safety for workers and reducing incendiary risk. Burlington Safety Laboratory has spent over 50 years developing and supplying electrical safety equipment to diverse industries. From arc flash clothing and related PPE to safety blankets, grounding equipment, and line covers, we have the innovative products and inventory to deliver reliable solutions quickly. Contact us today for assistance in identifying the right solution for your electrical safety needs.

Importance of Electrical Insulating Blankets for Linemen

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Importance of Electrical Insulating Blankets for Linemen

Linemen require the proper materials to protect them from hazardous electrical conditions that could otherwise cause serious injury or death. Electrical insulating blankets serve as a type of barrier used to protect linemen from accidental contact with live components during energized line maintenance. The flexibility of these blankets enables them to be easily wrapped or folded around irregularly shaped components such as switchgear and transformers, thus providing adequate protection for workers. 

What is An Electrical Insulating Blanket?

Electrical rubber insulating blankets, also referred to as shock protection blankets, are used to cover energized components to protect linemen from various electrical hazards. More specifically, they serve as a cover-up for electrical equipment found in substations, switchboards, and cubicles. These blankets are available in various sizes, types, and classes, and they typically have eyelets that allow them to be easily secured using straps, buttons, or pins.

Importance of Electrical Insulating Blankets

The importance of electrical insulating rubber blankets for linemen comes mainly from their ability to protect workers from dangerous conditions. Every year in the United States, dozens of linemen are seriously injured or killed because of high voltage-related accidents. To prevent this, it’s important to implement safe work procedures and use personal protective equipment (PPE) designed to lower the risk of exposure for linemen. 

In instances where a lineman must be closer than the safe distance to energized components, it’s crucial that all energized electrical conductors be insulated from other conductive objects as well as the worker. In these situations, using electrical insulating blankets to cover exposed live parts can prevent injury and death by protecting linemen from electrical shocks and accidents. 

Inspection and Safety

To ensure optimal performance and safety, electrical insulating blankets must be properly inspected before use. It’s important to roll blankets to check for age-cracking, corona cutting, snags, abrasions, tears, and scratches. They should be rolled at least two times on each side, with the second roll perpendicular to the first. Any blankets that show signs of damage should be removed from service.

ASTM standards require electrical retests at least every 12 months, with in-field visual inspections at least every six months. More specifically, the ASTM testing and inspection process follow these steps:

  1. Check-in process
  2. Remove the previous testing marking
  3. Wash with cleaning agents that won’t degrade the insulating properties
  4. Interior and exterior visual inspection of all surfaces
  5. Electrical testing
  6. Final inspection
  7. Recordkeeping
  8. Marking
  9. Packing in appropriate containers for shipment or storage

Electrical Insulating Blankets from Burlington Safety Laboratory

Linemen are regularly exposed to energized components that, without the proper protection, can cause serious harm to workers. To ensure the safety of linemen, electrical insulating blankets can be used to cover hazardous live parts. 

At Burlington Safety Laboratory, we are a go-to source for linemen’s protective equipment. As part of our offerings, we provide top-quality electrical insulating blankets designed to create a barrier between workers and energized electrical components. Depending on your particular needs, we can deliver protective blankets in a wide range of styles and sizes to ensure optimal protection. For more information about our shock-protection blankets and other electrical safety equipment, contact Burlington Safety Laboratory today. 

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