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  • Fabric Softener enhanced fires

    Has anyone experience any fires lately where clothes have burned more readily than ever before. It seem that some of the ingredients used in fabric softeners have caused fire resistiveness to be reduced.

    A recent test conducted at the Metro Fire Training Center in Englewood Colorado in Cooperation with West Metro and Littleton Colorado Fire Departments and CBS Affiliae in Denver showed that this is definately a concern.

    3 identical terry cloth robes were purchased brand new, taken to a commercial laundromat, washed in the same detergent, then each placed in a separate dryer, with 1 being dryed with bounce sheets, 1 with nothing the third was dried using a randomly (out of 7 like liquid softeners) selected softener liquid.

    Once they were dried they were taken to the burn building, where 3 firefighters from littleton used blow torches to ignite the 3 robes, 2 had flame lengths less than 1 inch, while the 3rd one which was dried with the liquid softener was burned over 80% of its material in less than 30 seconds.

    This might be an issue the fire service wants to take up.


  • #2
    Why would this be of concern to you anyway? I thought you guys don't do any interior firefighting out there?

    You cant see panties go up from the collapse zone!!

    I got a pen and a clipboard for you, just let me know where to stick it.

    Gotta go and practice for the combat challange so that I can impress Nate and represent the east coast... yeah right

    Vinny

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    • #3
      Originally posted by CousinVinny354:
      Why would this be of concern to you anyway? I thought you guys don't do any interior firefighting out there?

      You cant see panties go up from the collapse zone!!

      I got a pen and a clipboard for you, just let me know where to stick it.

      Gotta go and practice for the combat challange so that I can impress Nate and represent the east coast... yeah right

      Vinny
      Awww.. can't you just feel the love???

      Comment


      • #4
        Awww.. can't you just feel the love???

        Yeah ain't it great!!!

        ------------------
        The statements above are my own opinions

        FF Greg Grudzinski
        Oaklyn Fire Dept.
        Station 18-3

        Comment


        • #5
          Oh Great Firefighter Marshal,
          How did they find the time to do the testing with all the fires you have out there. Since you said you guys are always busy with all the wild fires and structure fires.

          I'll make sure i think before i wash any of my robes ever again.

          Comment


          • #6
            You people can ruin any decent topic with your dumb coastal rivalries. Not a single post about the subject at hand.

            It would behoove us all to pay some attention to fire prevention and not just shooting our mouths off about who can put out the fire the best and the fastest.

            As a parent, I am very interested in anything relating to the flame-retarding capability of clothing. Those seconds make the difference in extinguishing a person's burning clothes before more widespread and serious burning can occur.

            As to the wise remark about the burning panties, maybe some of us are concerned about keeping the panties from igniting the whole blessed building by making them a little less flammable. Great big fires are fun, but I get a terrific feeling thinking that something I have taught somebody has kept them from losing their home.

            Confine your stupid arguments to a stupid thread somewhere (WebTeam, how about launching a "Divisive and Counterproductive Bickering" forum?), and let those of us who are trying to improve ourselves and help our communities have constructive discussions with other larger-minded individuals.

            Comment


            • #7
              The label on theNomex coverall my department wears for wildland fires states "DO NOT use fabric softener" so most manufacturers have known about this for a while. Check with your supplier.

              In the test it was only liquid fabric softener that seemed to be the problem.

              Comment


              • #8
                He's right..this is a growing problem for all those who are realizing the benefits of soft clothes...especially here on the East Coast, where panties burn hotter than on the Left Coast!!!!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Liquid fabric softners are nothing more than water soluble oil with fragrances added.

                  Try using plain old vinegar in the washer's fabric softner bowl to get your clothes soft, rather than "oil." Maybe a test could be conducted to see if vinegar treated clothing has any flammable characteristics.

                  This would indeed be a good life safety/fire prevention topic.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    First... It has nothing to do with washing or softening PPE.

                    Second.. We have no "coast" in the Rockies, so its not a coastal issue.

                    Third... Sure maybe it should be in the fire prevention forum, but it is something we should be concerned about, especially parents.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Nathan,

                      You blew it. Do you have any teeth left in your mouth? Consider yourself lucky if you do.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by EastKyFF:



                        As a parent, I am very interested in anything relating to the flame-retarding capability of clothing. Those seconds make the difference in extinguishing a person's burning clothes before more widespread and serious burning can occur.

                        As to the wise remark about the burning panties, maybe some of us are concerned about keeping the panties from igniting the whole blessed building by making them a little less flammable. Great big fires are fun, but I get a terrific feeling thinking that something I have taught somebody has kept them from losing their home.


                        My only question is...

                        Who wears a Robe, panties, whatever around an open flame? I mean, are you really sitting there, say welding in a terry cloth robe that you just washed? If your house is on fire, anything you are wearing exposed to a direct flame of almost 500 degrees is going to ignite.

                        Using logic and reason, rather makes this topic, null and void.

                        Here is a tip....Do not expose any clothing to a flamethrower, blowtorch, or any other open flame, including ovens. There, the world is much safer. Someone get Hanes to put that on their panties. I know my girlfriend will feel much safer.

                        Doc DC3

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          After talking to Jeff Christ a Littleton BC I found out that the news station picked the ingredients and the material. Who knows why they picked terrycloth. Jeff thinks that this would happen to alot of materials that people wear, not nomex, they tried nomex dried in fabric softener too and it didnt do anything.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by johnusn971:
                            My only question is...

                            Who wears a Robe, panties, whatever around an open flame? I mean, are you really sitting there, say welding in a terry cloth robe that you just washed? If your house is on fire, anything you are wearing exposed to a direct flame of almost 500 degrees is going to ignite.

                            Using logic and reason, rather makes this topic, null and void.

                            This is all fine and good that people will not be sitting welding a little metal in their robe, but how about sitting by a fire in the winter, sitting next to one of these 3 and 4 wick candles that are popular these days.

                            Not to mention I don't believe you can make anything null and void when it is subject to human judgement... We all know how long we've been on a job where someone has used their 'best' judgment!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              People cook too, you know.

                              Gotta go, I've got to just happen to dry dad's 25+ year old robe with some liquid and just happen to light it on fire.

                              Althea

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