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Thread: Class A Foam

  1. #1
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    Question Class A Foam

    Does Class A foam Make it harder to investigate a fire if it was arson?


  2. #2
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    Hi jricha9,

    This article that was on Firehouse.com in May of 2007. It should be helpful. Class A foam, in my experiences has not helped or hurt the investigation process.

    http://cms.firehouse.com/web/online/Firefighting-Strategy-and-Tactics/CAFS-And-Its-Impact-In-Fire-Scene-Investigations/14$49485

    Be safe,

    Captain Lou
    "Got Foam?"

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jricha9 View Post
    Does Class A foam Make it harder to investigate a fire if it was arson?
    The answer is NO. That is as long as the investigator is trained, qualified and is following the procedures outlined in NFPA 921.

    I was asked this same question by someone else in a PM. Here is the answer I gave.

    I am actually pro-"CAFS if you use it correctly".

    I have investigated several fires where CAFS was used. Some while it is still hot, some days later. It is ridiculous to say that you can't investigate a fire after the use of CAFS. There are a few points to remember.

    1. TELL THE INVESTIGATOR that CAFS was used. If he is going to take debris samples for accelerant analysis, he will have to secure a comparison sample of the CAFS concentrate along with a copy of the MSDS. One brand of CAFS I found had a small amount of kerosene in it as an emulisifier.
    2. If the scene is still hot and the foam is still present, the investigation may have to be delayed. Don't try to wash it away because that will alter the scene.
    3. The use of CAFS may actually aid the investigation. The foam may inhibit the evaporation of any accelerant and should result in less water being used, reduced fire damage and less alteration due to excessive overhaul.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    The answer is NO. That is as long as the investigator is trained, qualified and is following the procedures outlined in NFPA 921.

    I was asked this same question by someone else in a PM. Here is the answer I gave.
    George, you confirmed what I was thinking after I first read the question. It is nice to have people confirm your thought process once in a while...

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