Homemade training foam
Has anybody heard of or made training foam concentrate? I teach some classes and the training experience can be limited sometimes due to limited funds to buy commerical training foam. Typically we just use the training foam during non-fire scenerios and the like. Any help would be appreciated.
I have used both diluted foam as well as dishwashing soap as training foams. Dilute your foam 1 part foam, 3 parts water. If you use the soap, get something that makes lots of suds-Joy works well. This can be diluted as well.
Either the diluted foam or the soap works as long as you are training on application techniques. It does not work in training settings where you are extinguishing a class B fire.
If you are teaching foam operations to pump operators, you can throw an eductor into a 5 gal bucket of plain water. It gets used something like 5 to 10% faster than foam concentrate. (There's something about this in the IFSTA Fire Streams manual.)
For foam application, KenNFD1219's recipe looks like it should work.
Ken is right about the Joy brand of dishwasing detergent being a good training foam. It's less expensive than Dawn and nearly as good for an emulsifying foamer, but if you train on gasoline fires don't use Dawn because it will put the d--- fire out. And someone will holler about "your going to get someone hurt if you use a class A foam on a class B fire" ;). That's bulloney! Actually Dawn has the best degreasers I have have had any experience with, mixed about a 1/2 percent in water, well maybe 1% for asperated nozzles or standard combination water tips, it will extinguish fires that are very hard to extinguish with plain water. And of course either Joy or Dawn will make your water 8 to 10 times more efficiant than untreated water for class A fires.(U.L. tests for wetting agents)
The dish detergent method is a bit diffent than old foam training manuals will describe because the degreaser in Dawn emulsifies with the fuels near the surface (like scrubbing oily hands) and everybody knows watered down gasoline don't burn so well. Diesel fuel is much safer than gasoline for fire training but it's hard to get it lit and diesel doesn't show your application mistakes as well as gasoline does when you plunge the stream too vigorously into the fuel. There will be no flashback protection if the foam blanket is broken so be careful when the foam is gone.