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Go Ahead, Waste Your Time, Because You Never Know . . .

Fire blankets. Fire blankets? Ever heard of them? No? Well, neither had I, but here’s how it all began . . . Luckily for me, I’ve always loved wasting time (as I used to call it) ranging all over the internet whenever I needed a break from my work. My work as a psychotherapist is pretty intense, as you might imagine, and every now and then I need to float, away from the pain and complexity my patients bring to me. On the internet, I’d go anywhere and everywhere, reading about best beaches of the world (you never know . . .), how to build a house out of hay bales (you never know . . .), how to tell a good egg from an old one (YNK . . .), how to curtsy if you meet the queen (YNK . . .), and so on and on. I loved reading probably made-up sales pitches that described how a 12-year-old child or a housewife from Kansas was able to create a million dollar business (overnight, no less), even though I knew these articles were only fantasies, designed to entice me into expensive courses I’d never finish.

But something about a couple of articles outlining how to start an e-commerce business seemed like they weren’t part of the next-shiny-object syndrome. They weren’t offering the usual sales pitch promising to lead me to quick and easy millionaire status. Well, they did say it would be easy. If they had said how complicated it really was, I undoubtedly wouldn’t have bothered. I was just looking for diversion from my real interest, which is helping people.

Now here’s the strange thing: this whole e-commerce “diversion” eventually led me right back to where I started, helping people!   Now, there are a lot of “miraculous” elements to this story, and believe me,

I’m still as skeptical as to how it all fell into place as you probably are, but here’s what happened. I decided to go to the Alibaba website because I had heard that it was the world largest marketplace, selling basically every product know to humankind. Because of their truly bewildering array of things that everyone and no one could potentially want, I decided to Google “What is Alibaba’s best-selling product?”

And here is where the miracle (or the woo-woo, if you please) comes in. What my search rewarded me with was the most unlikely (and most inaccurate) possible response: fire blankets. Again, fire blankets? Never heard of them. Nor could I find any mention of them on any of the websites that tally how many sales all the things that online marketplaces offer. Not even on a worldwide basis. Nothing at all indicated that enough people had bought a fire blanket to show up as even a minuscule blip on any sales chart. And yet, strangely enough, when Alibaba self-searched, it tossed up that product for my view! 

I was intrigued by this puzzling result. The name fire blanket gave away nothing. A blanket of fire? It didn’t make sense, but then, ah-ha, I found out that a fire blanket is a fiberglas sheet that effectively and safely can blanket a fire, quench the oxygen that keeps the fire going, and quickly put it out! Where could they be used? In the kitchen, in the bedroom, when grilling, at the campfire, in the car, and—the more I thought about it—absolutely everywhere: hotels, schools, nursing homes, childcare centers, boats, workshops, restaurant kitchens, gas stations, and more! 

Researching fire damage statistics, I discovered the incredible costs of home fires:

  • 50.1% of all home fires start in the kitchen,
  • 27% of home fire deaths were caused by kitchen fires.
  • Thanksgiving (and the day before) and, on a daily basis, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., are the most frequent times of kitchen fires.
  • Kitchen fires cause $1.2 billion in property damages.
  • Candles cause an average of 24 home fires a day
  • December is the most dangerous time of year (the electrical load that Christmas decorations cause and because of candle use.)
  • More than 3,400 people died and 14,670 were injured in home fires in 2017.

    Talk about being able to help people or even possibly intervene in life-saving ways! I couldn’t help but realize that I had to somehow bring fire blankets to the public’s attention as an essential device for fire protection.

    So, here’s what’s so special about fire blankets, and why, even if you have a fire extinguisher, you need them in your home. They come in a small, quick-tab-release package, making them easy to hang from the grommet in their bag near potential danger spots. They can be put on a hook in a kitchen cabinet or in a drawer in various places in a house, car, or boat, for example. They require no special expertise to use, so that most 
    people can be taught to use them (just make sure the blanket drapes over your hands by holding the attached straps as you approach a fire).





     In a desperate situation a fire blanket is moldable, and can be shaped around a person or a pet when escaping through flames. They also can be used in stop, drop, and roll situations. They’re inexpensive as well. Unlike fire extinguishers, they leave no messy, environmentally toxic residue. All you do is drape them over the fire source to shut off the oxygen the fire needs to continue burning. There’s no cleanup, and they don’t require recharging yearly as most extinguishers do either.   

    So, I hope now there are no longer any quizzical looks left at the mention of “fire blankets,” and I hope I’ve told you enough about them that you take action to obtain some for your family, your loved ones, your offices, and everywhere else there may be fire danger. A search engine somehow presented them to me to so that somehow I’d have to opportunity to present them to you. I was looking for distraction, and look what I got: a chance to help all of us save lives! Seems pretty miraculous to me!

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