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  1. #1
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    Question Is there a salvage tarp expert here?

    I'm trying to figure out what the "fire resistive/water proof" material that the salvage tarps are coated with is called. Can anyone offer any insight?


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    Forum Member fireman4949's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trucker31 View Post
    I'm trying to figure out what the "fire resistive/water proof" material that the salvage tarps are coated with is called. Can anyone offer any insight?
    Vinyl.

    The waterproof salvage covers are simply vinyl coated nylon that is treated with a flame retardant.




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    I should specify that our tarps are made of canvas. Does this change anything?

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    MembersZone Subscriber SWLAFireDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trucker31 View Post
    I should specify that our tarps are made of canvas. Does this change anything?
    Boy are we backwoods....we use tarps from Lowes....LOL!

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    Hmmm...don't know what they use on the Canvas for a treatment.

    You may have to call a company that makes them (e-tarps.com ?)

    On the Vinyl discussion, there's also Hypalon which is another synthetic, it's the "nicer" feeling one...that also costs more

    We have everything from 40 y/o Canvas, vinyl, hypalon, down to disposable tarps.
    Last edited by Dalmatian190; 01-25-2007 at 11:45 PM.

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    A lot of hardware stores carry something from Thompson's(tm)Waterseal that waterproofs canvas.
    I remember a lot of old books about camping which included instructions on how to waterproof your tent but cannot recall the process or chemicals used.

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    A company called Iowa American used to sell "fire resistive" salvage covers, but if memory serves me correctly they cost in the $500 range for 14x16. They are no longer in business though, I would check with All Hands Fire Equipment. They are usually in the know.

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    There is a former Fire Patrolman on here by the name of Salman or something like that. He is now a fireman in New England somewhere. Hopefully he will see this.

    If I run into any of my Fire Patrol friends who are still around I'll ask them.

    FTM-PTB

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    Quote Originally Posted by doughesson View Post
    A lot of hardware stores carry something from Thompson's(tm)Waterseal that waterproofs canvas.
    I remember a lot of old books about camping which included instructions on how to waterproof your tent but cannot recall the process or chemicals used.

    Most of the older canvas waterproofing agents for camping were paraffin based and would probably not be a good idea for salvage covers for obvious reasons. . .
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    I can't remember the name of the stuff, but I've got an old duster (waterproof/brush proof trench coat type thing for those not familiar) that all I had to do to re-waterproof was go down to the western wear store and buy a bottle of stuff for it. It's not the canvas duck stuff, but it'd damn close. Might be worth looking into, but I can't remember for the life of me what it costs.

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    MembersZone Subscriber Salman1's Avatar
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    Wink what the "experts" used in the NY Fire Patrol...haha

    FFFRED, hey there. Thanks. I will get back to you guys regarding the salvage covers. We used the heavy coated canvas "covers". They were treated and if you used them with bare hands, your hands got itchy, broke out, rashed or whatever. Can't remember what they were treated with, but I'll take them over any type of plastic, nylon "cover" out there. If you truly want to protect contents from the effects of water, smoke and fire (embers etc.), the traditional canvas is more beneficial. And, believe it or not, there was/is a true art in "throwing" covers when you're doing it with the FDNY operating next to you, around you, above you etc. We'd throw 20-30 covers for one business in about 20 minutes with about 4-5 patrolman. A true art in the sense. I miss that job. Keep the NY Fire Patrol in mind. Check out their site. www.fpny123.net I'll get back to you ASAP regarding the covers we used and what they were coated with. Later...

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    Default through the lock tool set by Iowa American

    37truck, speaking about Iowa American...I used to stumble across their booth at the various trade shows. A couple of retired B/C's (FDNY) were the owners. They used to sell a set of "key tools" that were reminiscent of the swiss army knives. It had a shove knife, key tool, pick etc. that all folded up nicely into a literal pocket tool. My buddy, John Feehan (FDNY, former Fire Patrol 3) bought one when I was working with him and dopey me never picked one up. If you or anyone on here knows what I'm talking about, please drop me an email or message with a pic and or somewhere I can find one. That thing was great vs. fiddling around in your pockets for the tools or stowing em' on your helmet.
    "Fokker Out"...

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    MembersZone Subscriber Salman1's Avatar
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    Default a response...

    Here is a response from one of the more senior members of the NY Fire Patrol, and friend of mine...

    "The covers which we used were made of canvas made by the Atlas Cover Corp.
    They had a waterproof sealant built into them. The smell was horrible when
    first used but soon wore off. We treated them ourselves with water proof
    spray every once in a while.

    I hope this answers your question. It was not a high tech process. The
    only drawback which we are exploring is the covers may have been
    contaminated throughout the years and proper testing was never done which
    may cause problems to members in the future.

    I Think the way to go is: heavy duty disposable plastic which the union
    tried to persuade the Job to no avail. Cuts the process of stripping,
    washing, and storage. Much cleaner and avoids the above problem."

    I remember stripping the covers at the various fire scenes, covered with you don't know what. Then we'd fold them the best way possible, into the truck and throw them in the basement for cleaning and then we'd hang em' to dry and then refold them for use. Usually, a few shifts would shared the work especially when their were many covers to wash, hang and fold...I hope this answered your question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Salman1 View Post
    37truck, speaking about Iowa American...I used to stumble across their booth at the various trade shows. A couple of retired B/C's (FDNY) were the owners. They used to sell a set of "key tools" that were reminiscent of the swiss army knives. It had a shove knife, key tool, pick etc. that all folded up nicely into a literal pocket tool. My buddy, John Feehan (FDNY, former Fire Patrol 3) bought one when I was working with him and dopey me never picked one up. If you or anyone on here knows what I'm talking about, please drop me an email or message with a pic and or somewhere I can find one. That thing was great vs. fiddling around in your pockets for the tools or stowing em' on your helmet.
    "Fokker Out"...
    Bro they closed doors a couple years ago, there is probably a box of the key tools lying around in one of their garages. Your best and only bet is to see if you could get a hold of Marty Vitael. If any knows Rick Fritz from High Point(NC) FD aka. "Mr Tools of the Trade", he might know.

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    Thumbs up I'll give it a try...

    Thanks for the info. Great resource. I read Fritz' book. Pretty decent one at that...I figured they were shut down when they weren't at the last few show's I've been to in Pennsylvania the last few years. I'll try to get in touch with him.

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    There is still a place for the old canvas covers ---- if we are gonna be pulling down a ceiling with proable hot coals, we will use the old canvas covers (sometimes over a newer vynil cover if time permits) give it a light spray , just enough to dampen it. It resists small embers better than the heavy vynil covers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ullrichk View Post
    Most of the older canvas waterproofing agents for camping were paraffin based and would probably not be a good idea for salvage covers for obvious reasons. . .
    Excellent observation...note the example of the Hartford CT circus fire of 1944....

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hartford_Circus_Fire

    A quote from the article....

    The cause of the fire remains undetermined. Most investigators believe it was caused by a carelessly flicked cigarette or an arsonist. Because the big top tent had been coated with 1,800 lb (816 kg) of paraffin and 6,000 US gallons (23 m≥) of gasoline (some sources say kerosene), a common waterproofing method of the time, the flames spread rapidly. Many people were badly burned by the melting paraffin, which rained down like napalm from the roof. Eventually, the fiery tent collapsed, trapping hundreds of spectators beneath it.
    Last edited by dmleblanc; 01-30-2007 at 04:37 PM.
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    MembersZone Subscriber Salman1's Avatar
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    Default I'd still go with the old canvas covers..

    They may be more expensive, cleaning is more tedious but they hold up much better, support much more water, enable "bags" to be made to hold water (much more flexible than vinyl when rolling corners etc., and they do hold up much better when embers etc. are raining down on them. They can also be repaired either by patching or by sewing or both. We did that on occasion in the Fire Patrol. We used to carry about 50-60 salvage covers per truck. I remember factory fires or large commercial and highrise jobs where we used two trucks worth. Yeah, the Fire Patrol isn't needed...NOT!

  19. #19
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    I love the older style, detail rich magazine articles --
    Warren Kimball's 1944 write-up of the Hartford Circus Tent fire:
    http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files/PDF/Hartfordcircus.pdf

    If you scroll down to the "Flameproofing the Canvas" section, it doesn't say *what* was being used, but mentioned recent manufacturing improvements to provide both flame and water proofing to canvas.

    (Enter Dal90 speculation mode) Ironically, using gasoline as the solvent was probably was better in this situation then Kerosene. As Kimball notes, most of the gasoline would have been evaporated and only residual quantities remaining -- it seems the paraffin itself is what gets most of the blame (the tent had been "used" 10 times since it was treated, it's not clear to me if "use" was put up and taken down, or used for 10 days, or what without digging deeper). Since Kerosene is a lot less volatile, you probably would've had more fuel in the canvas had Kerosene been used. Not sure after 10 days, but I know my clothes always seem to have a "greasy" feel if I've splashed diesel or Kero on them until I was them, where Gasoline dries up pretty quick.

    Of course, the risk to the workers while applying the flammable gasoline mixture was off the danger scale due to the risk of a flash fire while working with it!!!

  20. #20
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    Salvage? What a novel concept. Not something we do here; luckily a lot of our fires are in vacants.

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