Does anyone use foam for structure fires, and what are the positives and negatives of this. One negative I do see, is the cost involved with using foam. Any input will be greatly appreciated. Thanks and be safe.
Clairton Fire Department
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11-10-1999, 08:54 AM #1Scene25Firehouse.com Guest
Foam Firefighting for Structure Fires...
11-10-1999, 12:03 PM #2Jim M.Firehouse.com Guest
Do a search for CAFS. There are several dozen excellent posts in different formus on the subject.
11-10-1999, 12:20 PM #3Scene25Firehouse.com Guest
11-13-1999, 11:16 PM #4Truckie from MissouriFirehouse.com Guest
You might look into that "Barricase" foam out there. It's actually a liquid copolymer made of the same stuff as the absorbant in diapers. It makes water bubbles instead of air bubbles, and the layers of water need to be boiled off rather than the tin layer on an air foam bubble. I have only read a little on the topic of Class A foams, and teh CAFS stuff is good. I think the Barricade would be better, just from the composition of the foam. It's heavier than the air bubbles, coats thicker and clings longer.
CNN.com did a story on it after the Florida fires a little while back.
Just a thought...
Proud Member of IAFF Local 3133!
11-14-1999, 10:10 PM #5RomaniaFirehouse.com Guest
Foam for structural fire fighting is a very good thing. Please read my post in the Foam Thread for more information on the basic science behind it.
For strutural firefighting, foam (non-cafs) provides a small advantage in knock down over plain water. However, it provides a huge advantage in overhaul and reducing rekindles. I sugest a 0.5% mix ration for typical structural applications.
CAFS on the other hand provides an extream advantage over water for both applications. CAFS utilizes an aircompressor in addition to the foam enductor. A CAFS system injects air into the foam solution (water and concentrate proportianed) at the pump. The solution and air are agitated into finished foam in the hose line. The first two advantages this gives you is an ultra-light flexible hose at high flow rates and NO precevible friction loss at 1-3/4" hose lengths over 400' +! CAFS also allows you to "shoot" your foam stream almost twice as far as a regular water stream. THe finished foam must be applied with a smooth bore nozzle, a simple ball valve will work fine. The foam that is expelled has very small bubbles and you can acctually see the foam stream turn black as it travels through the smoke as it absorbs heat and carbon particles. It will knock down a rippen fire with a fraction of the water and time it would normally take with plain water. CAFS also provides that same penetrating benefits of non-CAFS class A foam, and can flow non-CAFS foam. If you need more information, please feel free to contatc me.
Alan Romania, CEP
IAFF Local 3449
My Opinions do not reflect the opnions of the IAFF or Local 3449.
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