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  1. #1
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    Default Looking for some advice

    Hi - I am a homeowner, not a firefighter, with a home located in the middle of a forest of mostly fir trees in Washington and am in need of some advice/suggestions. So thought I might try getting some, straight from some experts..

    I recently acquired a 1000gal stainless steel tank (from a dairy farm) and want to set it up so that in case of a forest fire, I could mix some fire retardant gel into the tank and then spray my house, garage, and perhaps a couple other out-buildings with it. Also could use it for any other small fires, if necessary.

    A local fire station thinks they can find about 300 ft of 1 1/2 inch used fire hose that I could have. I have also told the guys at the local fire station about my tank and that the water will be available to them also, in case they need it for fires at other houses in the area. My question is this, I am going to start looking around for a used pump of some sort, and I would like some suggestions on what size of a pump (GPM, PSI) , type (gas, diesel, etc), I should get. Reliability is important, something that WILL start when needed. My house is about 3 stories in height (a dome home) located about 250 feet from where the tank will be stored, on level ground.

    Sure would appreciate any thoughts/ideas and thanks in advance..

    Marc..


  2. #2
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EveningDarkstar View Post
    Sure would appreciate any thoughts/ideas and thanks in advance..

    Marc..
    Honestly?

    You're not going to like the answer.....But leave firefighting to the professionals. It's not something to take your chances with, especially forest fires.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Honestly?

    You're not going to like the answer.....But leave firefighting to the professionals. It's not something to take your chances with, especially forest fires.
    Thanks FWDbuff, and you are quite right! But honestly, I think you mis-understood me, and/or I wasn't clear. My intention is not to fight a forest fire or any sort of a serious fire. Rather, my main intention is to help defend the house by spraying it down with a fire-retardant gel in case a forest fire occurs in our area. (if I can and before I get the heck out of Dodge....)

    I am actually getting a lot of encouragement from the guys at our local fire-station who think that my being pro-active with this plan, is a great idea...

    Marc...

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    First do an online search for the extinguishing agent you want to use

    Call them and ask what is the application method and get equipment needed for that

    Just remember shelf life and maintaining, testing whatever you buy

    http://www.homefirefightingsystems.com/firegel.html

    http://www.fdnntv.com/Thermo_Gel

  5. #5
    Forum Member NFD-Firefighter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EveningDarkstar View Post
    Thanks FWDbuff, and you are quite right! But honestly, I think you mis-understood me, and/or I wasn't clear. My intention is not to fight a forest fire or any sort of a serious fire. Rather, my main intention is to help defend the house by spraying it down with a fire-retardant gel in case a forest fire occurs in our area. (if I can and before I get the heck out of Dodge....)

    I am actually getting a lot of encouragement from the guys at our local fire-station who think that my being pro-active with this plan, is a great idea...

    Marc...
    Chances are, if you need to be defending your home, you should be evacuating. Life before property.
    Firefighting - one of the few professions left that still makes house calls.

  6. #6
    Forum Member RyanK63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NFD-Firefighter View Post
    Chances are, if you need to be defending your home, you should be evacuating. Life before property.
    Exactly. Fire is too unpredictable, especially when it comes to forest/brush fires. The slightest shift in wind and it's going the opposite direction. Putting the tank there for the fire department use could be helpful to them, but using it to protect your home in the event of a forest fire is a bad idea.
    "If it was easy, someone else would of done it already." - Lt. Ray McCormack FDNY

    - Firefighter 1 / HAZMAT Ops / EMT-B

  7. #7
    Forum Member islandfire03's Avatar
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    Talking

    I'm guessing the OP is talking about using it to coat his property and dwellings with a coating of barricade or other retardant product before running away in an attempt to lessen the damage to his property.

    Easy enough to do with proper pump and sprayer heads, & applications can last for several days.
    Last edited by islandfire03; 06-14-2011 at 09:16 PM.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber firefighterbeau's Avatar
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    Call around to some company's like www.thermo-gel.com there are more out there and ask them what you need.

  9. #9
    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Hasn't this been asked in here before??? Somewhere, sometime!
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by EveningDarkstar View Post
    I recently acquired a 1000gal stainless steel tank (from a dairy farm) and want to set it up so that in case of a forest fire,
    How do you intend to fill this tank? May seem trivial, but 1,000 gallons of water is enough to suck some wells dry for days and would likley take days just to fill. And are the tanks fitting sutible for your pump capacity? You may need to have bungs added and welded in place.

    Quote Originally Posted by EveningDarkstar View Post
    I could mix some fire retardant gel into the tank and then spray my house, garage, and perhaps a couple other out-buildings with it.
    Nice idea in theroy, but if a large forest fire were to come through, it would not help, for a number of reasons.

    1. The radiant heat from fire surrounding your home would quickly dry the foam mixture out making it worthless. Foam needs water to be applied. And that water base will still evaporate and vaporise in intense heat. And once it gets that hot, it would be too hot for you to even be outside to reapply the foam. The only hope would be a permanently mounted deluge type sprinkler system to continue to spray the foam when tempatures outside reached the point where you could no longer be. But at that point, will the pump even operate?. If it's running off electric, at the point fire was surrounding your home, the power would likley be out. And if it's gasoline or diesel powered, it needs oxygen to run. Well, if fire is at your doorstep, so is smoke, so your generator is dead.

    2. If Fire has surrounded your home, all the foam in the world is not going to be of any use when trees on fire start to fall onto your home. Even if foam is still being applied, windows can break and the fire will reach your home.

    3. Not all foam types can be just added to a tank of water. Many need to be injected with air at the nozzle or inline on the pressure side to ensure proper mixing. You will likley need to have a foam supply on hand and depending on the type of foam and nozzle, a way to inject it.

    Quote Originally Posted by EveningDarkstar View Post
    Also could use it for any other small fires, if necessary.
    A fire extinguisher would be MUCH more practical. Dragging out 300' of 1-1/2 line with foam to put out a small fire would be extreme overkill.

    Quote Originally Posted by EveningDarkstar View Post
    A local fire station thinks they can find about 300 ft of 1 1/2 inch used fire hose that I could have.
    Your going to flake out and drag 300' of charged 1-1/2 line around your home spraying foam everywhere? Think again. And are they going to get you a foam nozzle? Will it be the correct type for the type of foam you are going to use? You may need a seperate Eductor to add foam through the hose.

    Quote Originally Posted by EveningDarkstar View Post
    I have also told the guys at the local fire station about my tank and that the water will be available to them also, in case they need it for fires at other houses in the area.
    So if the fire is coming from the direction of a neighbor and the local FD takes you up on your offer to use your tank, what happens when the fire spreads towards you?. Now your good deed has drained YOUR water supply.

    Quote Originally Posted by EveningDarkstar View Post
    My question is this, I am going to start looking around for a used pump of some sort, and I would like some suggestions on what size of a pump (GPM, PSI) , type (gas, diesel, etc), I should get.
    Whether it's gas or diesel, you will need an adequate fuel supply and that supply must be protected from fire. The fuel will also need to be stabilized somehow. Gasoline nowadays has so much ethanol in it that it will not keep long. Diesel would be a better option for that reason, but it too needs to have anti algae additive added. And don't forget, whether it's diesel or gas, it needs oxygen to run. If smoke conditions become severe, it will likley cease to function.

    As to what size pump? Depends on what type of foam and nozzle you choose.

    Quote Originally Posted by EveningDarkstar View Post
    Reliability is important, something that WILL start when needed.
    Well then the used pump you buy should already been in decent shape and should be tested weekly. The biggest issue wil be the fuel and air quality. If it's an electric starter (which based on the size, it likley will be), you will need to have good batteries kept charged.

    Quote Originally Posted by EveningDarkstar View Post
    My house is about 3 stories in height (a dome home) located about 250 feet from where the tank will be stored, on level ground.
    If the tank is 250 feet from your home and you are getting 300' of hose, how do you expect to spray your entire home? You make no mention of the diamater of your home, but you should have enough hose to at least reach the farthest side of your home.


    I completley understand why you want to do this. And in theroy, it's not a bad idea. While in a perfect world, you should let the real FD handle it. But sure, their could be a situation where the amount of fire has made any chance of them getting you impossible. In that scenario, you are the lest line of defense. But you need to understand what is involved. As others have said, in the event of a widespread forest fire that is out of control, is risking your life to save a house filled with inanimate objects really worth your life? I can tell you that if you plan to attempt it, you should at least make sure the system you are building will give you a realistic chance.

    Major factors as to whether this system will be worth it are:

    1. The fire load. How many and how large are the trees near your home? If you have 100' plus full grown pine trees less then 100' from your home and they ignite, all bets are off. You and your house are doomed.

    2. What is your dome home made of? If it has any plastic or wood and if the windows are any type of plastic, the radiant heat will likley ignite and or/melt these materials.

    3. What is your physical condition? Dragging that charged hose around in likley intense heat with lots of smoke is no easy task. As i said above, simply spraying the house down before the fire gets cose is not likley to do anything to save your home. As the fire approaches, the heat will dry the foam mixture out making it worthless. The foam will need to be applied continuously as the fire surrounds your home. How are you going to do this?. I would suggest a full ARFF suit (radiant heat protective clothing) and an SCBA (Air pack) with a 60 minute cylinder. But you would need training and even then, it would STILL be a crazy idea. The heat and lack of air would eventually overcome you and your home.

    4. Total water supply and pumping. Depending on the size of the fire, you may not have anywhere near enough water or foam. And will your pump stay running? If your tank and pump are 250' away and your spraying your home down, who is protecting the pump?

    If you are dead set on doing this, talk to some Fire Protection Engineers or very expierienced fire officers and get some real guidance so you have the right equipment.

  11. #11
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    Insurance companies and private homeowners are already hiring companies to do it

    http://www.eworldwire.com/pdf/18635.pdf


    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25692660...private-crews/

  12. #12
    Truckie SPFDRum's Avatar
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    I'm not sure of your environmental laws; as in some areas, the death of a human or the loss of their home pale in comparison to the possibility of upsetting some snail, keeping a fire break as large as possible would be a very easy way to protect your property. Another option is a small pump and roof sprinklers....
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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  13. #13
    Forum Member FiremanLyman's Avatar
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    Not going to argue against a guy who wants to protect his family and home. Nobel and better than the actions of many in, say... New Orleans, who waited for someone to come help them instead of helping themselves.

    That said, if you are going to defend your home, make a "trigger", a DECISION POINT for when you say enough is enough and get out of there while you still can.
    ~Drew
    Firefighter/EMT/Technical Rescue
    USAR TF Rescue Specialist

  14. #14
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    My advice? Talk to the local fire professionals and see what size pump they recommend. Same for hose size and length, nozzle type, and most importantly the type of fire retardant you will apply. I would stay away from Class A foam and go to one of the Barricade Gels simply because the Gel will last longer and offer far more protection than foam which will run and dry out far faster than the Gel.

    There are specific barricade Gel mixtures used for EXACTLY what you are talking about. Do some research on what type to buy and the method for application. Buy the right equipment on the advice of you local FD OR a good (recommended by the local FD) local fire equipment sales company.

    Honestly, one recommendation I would make is to go with 1 inch rubber nitrile hose versus the 1 1/2 inch hose. Far easier for you to QUICKLY put into service and to move around your home.
    Last edited by FyredUp; 06-15-2011 at 04:09 PM.
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  15. #15
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    Cut trees brush back from house

    Non combustible exterior

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    A way to actually avoid the problem entirely would be to cut everything off from the fire tetrahedron theory:

    Take out the heat, cool off the fire.
    Remove the oxygen, live in a vaccuum space
    Take away the fuel, get ride of those trees
    and finally, remove the materials in or near your house that causes chain reactions.


    By successfully completing these steps, you have stopped your house from catching on fire entirely! (Sad attempt at a joke)


    or the most simpler way would be to:

    Move out of the area only using it for: a vacation home or never go back.
    (Seriously, don't listen to me).
    Unit 71 - Probationary Firefighter / First Responder
    Bossier Parish Fire District #1

  17. #17
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    You really should stop. You are neither funny nor intelligent. Let the firefighters talk.
    ‎"I was always taught..." Four words impacting fire service education in the most negative of ways. -Bill Carey

  18. #18
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    If a forest fire near your home is bad enough to warrant your firing up this engine powered foam/gel/whatever sprayer thingee, I say you should be in the house gathering up your important documents (in the portable fire safe), your needed medications, your family, and loading the car and getting out of dodge. Wasting the time to spray the house could mean the difference between you living, and you (and your family) ending up looking like Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru in part 4 of Star Wars.

    Again, I say leave the protection to experts.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  19. #19
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6Duron1 View Post
    (Seriously, don't listen to me).
    Which part of "get in the kitchen and do the dishes rookie" didn't you understand? Please STFU. With every post you only make yourself look more and more stupid.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by FiremanLyman View Post
    Not going to argue against a guy who wants to protect his family and home. Nobel and better than the actions of many in, say... New Orleans, who waited for someone to come help them instead of helping themselves.

    That said, if you are going to defend your home, make a "trigger", a DECISION POINT for when you say enough is enough and get out of there while you still can.
    First intelligent thing said on here.

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