Bomb Blanket Buyer's Guide
Bomb blankets are designed to save lives in dangerous situations. As a manufacturer of these ballistic blankets, we know just how much goes into designing, developing, and manufacturing a bomb blanket that will withstand the very worst conditions.
Knowing which bomb blanket to choose will depend on the use. It doesn’t matter whether you are in an industry, law enforcement, military who feels it’s important to be prepared for any type of explosions. You need to do your research when it comes to choosing the right ballistic blanket.
There are different dangers that different bomb blankets protect against.
Let’s start with a brief history of the bomb blanket.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO KNOW ABOUT BOMB BLANKETS?
What is the history of bomb blankets?
Why do I need a bomb blanket?
What are the most commonly available bomb blanket types?
What accessories I can get with a bomb blanket?
What is the rating system for bomb blankets?
What are the legal implications of buying/owing a bomb blanket?
What are the different types of available bomb blankets?
What are the obsolete bomb blankets?
How to make sure your bomb blanket fits your requirements?
Are there any bomb blanket tips available?
What are the frequently asked questions on bomb blankets?
HISTORY OF BOMB BLANKET
Bombs have been used in war and times of unrest since at least the 13th century. For just as long, military and security forces, and even civilians, have been faced with finding ways to protect themselves. The bomb blanket was developed in line with this need, although its history is much more recent than the use of explosive devices. The first patent for a bomb suppression device similar to today’s bomb blanket was issued in 1973.
The first bomb blankets were crude things, mostly designed to shield against small explosive devices, such as pipe bombs. However, it did not take long for the design to evolve. New materials, new construction techniques, and new designs allowed these blankets to defend and protect against many more threats, including grenades, IEDs, fragmentation bombs, and more. Not only are they able to block shockwaves to some extent, but they can also stop shrapnel.
The modern bomb blanket looks very little like those that came before. Today’s options are designed with multiple layers of ballistic fabric that is both fire retardant and shock-proof. They offer fragmentation protection to Stanag 17-grain fragmentation V50 300m/s to NIJ Level IIIA V50 600m/s, and can even be used with high-magnitude explosions. Today’s bomb blankets are equally at home in demining operations as they are handling IED/EOD operations.
WHY DO YOU NEED A BOMB BLANKET?
There are a variety of applications of a bomb blanket and here are a few detailed below:
Police often face situations in which explosive devices have been deployed. In recent years, school bombings have become ever-more commonplace, for instance, as have bomb threats to places of work, and public spaces, such as subway stations, parks, and municipal buildings. Police forces must be able to deploy quickly and professionally, and they must have the tools and equipment necessary to handle these threats.
From IEDs in combat zones to demining activities, it’s difficult to think of a more applicable situation for bomb blankets than a military setting. With US forces facing a growing number of threats abroad, individual units must be capable of protecting themselves and civilians from both professionally designed bombs and home-made explosive devices. Bomb blankets are designed to safely deal with everything from amateur IEDs to high magnitude explosions.
Armed Security Applications
Security personnel, like military and police forces, face a growing number of threats. Home-grown terrorists and outside forces seek to destabilize the government while sowing fear and confusion with quick attacks that maximize civilian casualties in places like shopping malls, schools, resorts and other public places. Bomb blankets ensure that security personnel have the equipment necessary to mitigate these threats.
Bomb blankets are ideally suited for deployment in industrial applications and can be used to create safe spaces for personnel when dangerous, highspeed fragmentation is possible, or in situations where concussive force could cause injuries or fatalities. From manufacturing plants to high-pressure liquid and gas processing, to mining operations, ballistic blankets deliver protection and peace of mind. Ballistic blankets are wrapped around any of the appliances such as pipes, vacuum pumps, ovens, and other potential sources of threat neutralize flying fragments in the event of an explosion.
TYPES OF BOMB BLANKETS
There are basically four types of bomb blankets based on the protection level they could offer against the flying fragments/shrapnel:
- Fragmentation Blankets – Fragmentation blankets include multiple layers of Kevlar 129HT 1100 Dtex fabric, with fragmentation protection tested to Stanag 17-grain V50 300m/s. These are ideal for lower velocity fragmentation situations.
- NIJ Level IIA – NIJ Level IIA bomb blankets offer a combination of Kevlar 129HT 1100 Dtex layers. These blankets offer fragmentation protection up to Stanag 17-grain V50 450m/s, making them well-suited to moderate level threats.
- NIJ Level II – Like NIJ Level IIA blankets, NIJ Level II blankets feature multiple layers of Kevlar 129HT 1100 Dtex fabric. They offer fragmentation protection up to Stanag 17-grain V50 550m/s. They are designed for moderate/ high-level threats.
- NIJ Level IIIA – One of the most protective bomb blankets on the market, a rating of NIJ Level IIIA, and multiple layers of Kevlar 129HT 1100 Dtex fabric means this blanket offers fragmentation protection to Stanag 17-grain V50 600m/s for high-energy explosions and other similar situations.
BOMB BLANKET ACCESSORIESThere are two accessories you can order along with your choice of a bomb blanket as mentioned below:
The safety circle is an additional piece of the same bomb blanket in a circular fashion to be placed on the suspect object. In the event of an explosion the safety circle will aid the direction of the explosion to propel upward to hit the bomb blanket on top of the safety circle such a way that the bomb blanket will contain the explosion to the maximum extent. You need to add this option at the time of ordering the bomb blanket purchase.
Bomb Blanket Print Option
As it says you can get the word "Bomb Blanket" printed on the blanket if you want to. You need to add this option at the time of ordering the blanket.
BOMB BLANKET RATING SYSTEM
All ballistic blankets are rated for their level of protection. The National Institute of Justice, or NIJ, is the organization responsible for designating the ratings used in the industry today. It was founded in 1972 and since that time, has been responsible for setting standards for body armor, bomb blankets, and related gear used by corrections officers, police officers, and others across the nation. To this day, the NIJ standard is the only one recognized and accepted nationwide.
One of the NIJ’s purposes is to rigorously test bomb blankets and body armor sold commercially in the US to ensure that all products meet minimum performance standards. Because the NIJ’s standard is the only one recognized in the US, it’s imperative that any bomb blanket you purchase has passed NIJ testing and complies with the organization’s standards.
The NIJ standards include bomb blanket types Level IIA, Level II, and Level IIIA.
Our products are thoroughly tested to meet or exceed the requirements by an independent testing facility
As the laws stand today, bomb blankets fall under the umbrella heading of body armor, which is stringently regulated in many states today. It is also covered under federal statute 18 U.S.C.A. Section 931, which states that those convicted of a felony crime cannot own such equipment except for work-related purposes.
Many states in the country also limit who can own and use bomb blankets. Some states even increase minimum jail sentences if body armor is worn while committing a crime, as it speaks to premeditation and the potential for serious bodily harm to others while protecting oneself. Body armor and bomb blankets also make it more challenging for law enforcement officials to subdue subjects, which is another reason for strict regulations.
Other legal implications one should consider before purchasing a bomb blanket or any other form of body armor include:
- Is it legal to use on school or business grounds?
- Does the state forbid those convicted of a crime from owning these items?
- Does the state forbid online sales/purchase of body armor?
The legal implications of bomb blankets and other forms of body armor are many and varied across the nation. You must do your due diligence before making any purchase to avoid potential legal issues.
TOP BOMB BLANKET OPTIONS
You will find a wide range of bomb blanket types, sizes, and ratings on the market. This is not a decision that can be rushed – you’ll need to have all the information necessary to make an informed purchase decision to ensure that you receive the level of protection necessary. For instance, a basic fragmentation blanket might be fine for work in a mining operation, but it does not provide the stopping capabilities necessary for police officers on the police bomb squad.
How do you choose the right ballistic blanket for your needs? It comes down to understanding the threats you’re most likely to face, blanket size you will need to defend against those threats, basic use cases you might see, and the expected fragmentation spread rate from any explosives encountered.
All of the ballistic blankets highlighted within this section share similar features and capabilities, although they do not all have the same fragmentation protection capabilities. All ballistic blankets listed:
- Feature multiple layers of treated Kevlar 129HT 1100 Dtex.
- Are manufactured using both Kevlar and Nomex, which is a fire resistant coating.
- Are water-resistant
- Will contain explosions from a variety of bomb types and sizes.
- Feature nylon web loops at the corners.
- Available in standard or custom sizes.
- Form a parachute during high-magnitude explosions while allowing the sides to drop down, containing the blast.
Below, we will explore four types of bomb blankets, each of which is designated for particular use cases based on protective capabilities offered. Note that we have ranked these bomb blankets from general use to highest protective rating for ease of understanding.
Fragmentation Bomb Blanket
Available in sizes ranging from 3 x 3 feet to 6.5 x 6.5 feet, including custom sizes, this general use bomb blanket is a good choice for situations where high magnitude explosions are not expected. Weight varies depending on the size of the blanket, but all sizes can be configured to create a safety circle for additional protection. This blanket offers protection from fragmentation spread up to V50 300 meters per second, and it protects against 9mm bullets.
Bomb Blanket NIJ Level IIA
Rated IIA by the NIJ, this bomb blanket is available in sizes ranging from 3 x 3 feet to 6.5 x 6.5, including custom sizes. It can also be equipped with a safety circle to provide substantial additional protection. In keeping with its higher NIJ Level rating, this bomb blanket offers protection from fragmentation spread up to V50 450 meters per second, and it also has the capacity to stop 9mm bullets.
Bomb Blanket NIJ Level II
Choose from sizes as small as 3 x 3 feet or as large as 6.5 x 6.5 feet, including custom sizes, and offer serious defense from fragmentation and shock force. This bomb blanket can be configured with a safety circle for extra protection, and it offers protection from fragmentation spread up to V50 550 meters per second, and protect against 9mm bullets.
Bomb Blanket NIJ Level IIIA
Delivering advanced protection from highmagnitude explosions, this Level IIIA bomb blanket is the highest-rated ballistic blanket on offer. It is available in dimensions from 3 x 3 feet to 6.5 x 6.5 feet, as well as in custom sizes. It is ideal for use by bomb squads, security personnel, and even military personnel, and protects from fragmentation spread up to V50 600 meters per second, and it protects against 9mm bullet.
OBSOLETE BOMB BLANKETS
While bomb blankets were first developed in the 1970s, they have evolved very quickly.
Today’s options offer an excellent combination of performance, protection, portability, and ease of use. It is highly recommended that you upgrade any obsolete bomb blankets to ensure protection against modern threats, whether you might be facing IEDs in a warzone, mining related explosions, or industrial threats.
What should you look for that might indicate an obsolete bomb blanket?
- Not manufactured with multiple layers of Kevlar 129HT 1100 Dtex.
- No nylon corner loops.
- Manufactured with outdated fire-retardant chemicals, or not fire-retardant at all.
- Unable to withstand high-magnitude explosions.
- Does not form a “parachute” shape in high-magnitude explosions.
- Not adequately Tested
YOUR BOMB BLANKET FITS YOUR REQUIREMENTS?
Given the range of ballistic blankets on the market, it is important to ensure that those you purchase fit your needs and requirements. Size is one of the most important factors. Smaller bomb blankets (3 x 3 feet, for instance) are well-suited for handling smaller threats, such as pipe bombs.
However, larger threats such as unexploded military ordinance or the need to hang blankets to protect employees in an industrial situation will require larger blankets. Our blankets are available in sizes ranging from 3 x 3 feet up to 6.5 x 6.5 feet. We can also create custom-sized ballistic blankets to suit unique requirements and protective needs.
BOMB BLANKET TIPS
- Purchase ballistic blanket sizes and protective capabilities to suit your needs, rather than guessing. These are not a “one size fits- all” piece of gear.
- Make sure that any bomb blanket you purchase is BOTH flame retardant and waterproof to ensure durability in the line of duty.
- Never purchase a bomb blanket that does not meet NIJ standards (NIJ level IIA, II, IIIA, etc.).
- Know the size that you’ll need and understand that the larger the blanket, the more it will weigh.
BOMB BLANKET FAQs
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions mentioned below for your convenience:
The NIJ rating tells you what each bomb blanket can withstand. However, note that the NIJ’s standards are based on the V50 rating, rather than explosive type. The standards you need to know are as follows:
- Fragmentation – offers protection from 17 grain V50 300m/s fragmentation.
- Level IIA – Offers protection from 17 grain V50 450m/s fragmentation.
- Level II – Offers protection from 17 grain V50 550m/s fragmentation.
- Level IIIA – Offers protection from 17 grain V50 600m/s fragmentation.
You’ll find four types of bomb blankets, each offering a different layer of protection. They are as follows:
- Fragmentation blankets protect against low-velocity threats of 17 grain fragments up to 300 meters per second.
- NIJ Level IIA blankets protect against moderate-velocity threats of 17 grain fragments up to 450 meters per second.
- NIJ Level II blankets protect against moderate-high velocity threats of 17 grain fragments up to 550 meters per second.
- NIJ Level IIIA blankets protect against high-velocity threats of 17 grain fragments up to 600 meters per second.
Bomb blankets are essential parts of the modern toolkit for police, security, military forces, and select manufacturing industries. They provide outstanding protection, offer robust durability, and can be purchased in a range of sizes to suit your needs, or even custom designed to fit unique requirements. However, they’re not just useful for professions that deal with bomb threats and armed conflict.
Many industries find immense value in the protective capabilities of bomb blankets. From fragmentation blankets that handle low-velocity projectiles and blasts to the highest NIJ-rated bomb blankets designed to stop fragments hurtling at 600 meters per second, protecting workers, staff, and bystanders has never been simpler.
However, buying the right bomb blanket for your specific requirements is important. It’s vital that you make an informed decision and that you only purchase NIJ-certified blankets that have passed stringent quality and performance tests. Doing otherwise could compromise your safety and that of bystanders.
Working with the right vendor is also critical. At Best Safety Apparel, we carry four varieties of bomb blankets to suit varying needs, but we can also custom design a ballistic blanket to fit unique requirements. We’re also happy to provide you with advice and guidance during the buying process to ensure that you can make the best possible purchase.
You can reach us either through our website or call us directly at 888-877-0090.