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Class A foam....when to use it?

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  • fyrmnk
    replied
    We have put a thin layer of mineral oil in our foam tanks in all our trucks for many years. We rarely/never flow the class B foam, but when it does get used, has remained fine with no gelling.

    Leave a comment:


  • LaFireEducator
    replied
    Originally posted by FyredUp View Post
    The spoilage is definitely a problem, especially once you open it and it gets exposed to air. I have found that some Class B foam starts gelling after as little as 3 to 6 months. I have had people tell me they pour a layer of vegetable oil over the top of the foam it slows the spoilage. Seems like a hassle to me.
    Since we see so few fires, the fires that we have we have decided to use foam on.

    First of all, it will give the members experience using foam. In addition, using the foam instead of having it sit in the tank will force us to rotate the foam and hopefully reduce the amount of spoiled foam. The fact that it's a combination foam will mean that we will use the same foam on all fires, hopefully increasing the rotation opportunities.

    Part of the reason we went with the FireAid was to eliminate the A/B decision making process. The pump operator still has to recognize the Class b % and the IC has to recognize a hydrocarbon Class B vs. a Polar Solvent Class B, but it's one less decision they have to make.

    Leave a comment:


  • FyredUp
    replied
    Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    My volunteer department took delivery of a new engine with an around the pump foam system and a 15 gallon foam cell about 4 months ago.

    I was placed on charge of selecting the foam and developing the foam SOPs.

    Likr Fryred's department, we use Class A/B FireAid. There was much research and discussion on this. We went with the FireAid, despite the cost for two reasons. The first was that we over about 14 miles of interstate, and with that comes the possibility of a Class A/B fire. the second reason had to do with the fact that the Class B we currently have is rarely used, and ends up expiring on the truck and on the shelf. By using FireAid, we will rotate the foam and eliminate the spoilage issue.

    We have determined that we will use foam on every fire, except for our smaller brush fires.
    The spoilage is definitely a problem, especially once you open it and it gets exposed to air. I have found that some Class B foam starts gelling after as little as 3 to 6 months. I have had people tell me they pour a layer of vegetable oil over the top of the foam it slows the spoilage. Seems like a hassle to me.

    Leave a comment:


  • LaFireEducator
    replied
    My volunteer department took delivery of a new engine with an around the pump foam system and a 15 gallon foam cell about 4 months ago.

    I was placed on charge of selecting the foam and developing the foam SOPs.

    Likr Fryred's department, we use Class A/B FireAid. There was much research and discussion on this. We went with the FireAid, despite the cost for two reasons. The first was that we over about 14 miles of interstate, and with that comes the possibility of a Class A/B fire. the second reason had to do with the fact that the Class B we currently have is rarely used, and ends up expiring on the truck and on the shelf. By using FireAid, we will rotate the foam and eliminate the spoilage issue.

    We have determined that we will use foam on every fire, except for our smaller brush fires.

    Leave a comment:


  • FyredUp
    replied
    Just an update...

    7 years later we are still using our Class A foam system. We have changed from a strictly Class A agent to a multipurpose one FireAde. While it works fine for our Class A use it is far more expensive than simple Class A foam. It does have the added benefit of being able to be used for Class B fires by changing the percentage rate of foam.

    We have used the Class A foam successfully during fire attack at a .3% foam rate. We have used aerating nozzles and bumped the percentage for burying brush piles and for overhaul.

    So far we haven't destroyed the environment, burned down our community, or been overrun by citizens clamoring for us to spend $50K for a cafs system.

    Again, if cafs is your thing, more power to you!!

    Leave a comment:


  • cfire3
    replied
    Originally posted by FyredUp
    cfire3...

    Your assumption that I have no real world experience with CAFs is flawed. I may not have as much experience as you but I have used it. I have used it at structural training fires and I have seen it work it's magic as an exposure protection tool. I have seen it used to build a fire break in wildland scenarios.

    I believe there is a use for CAFs. Do I believe it's use is as wide spread as you do? Nope.

    Thanks for finally giving me some useful info.

    FyredUp
    Hey! Fyredup, that's good to hear, thanks, and I have enjoyed the heated debate challenge. You'er good.

    Leave a comment:


  • PaulGRIMWOOD
    replied
    I've enjoyed your posts Mark (and dare I say Fyred Up) in this thread. I appreciate both your views and welcome your informative contributions. I do believe that CAFS is closely linked with Class A additives as a fire suppression option merely from the perspective of alternatives to water. Whilst some may have already formed opinions as to which way they might choose to go there are many others who haven't.

    I'm glad you can still exchange views with useful debate and opinions.

    Thanks.

    Leave a comment:


  • FyredUp
    replied
    cfire3...

    Your assumption that I have no real world experience with CAFs is flawed. I may not have as much experience as you but I have used it. I have used it at structural training fires and I have seen it work it's magic as an exposure protection tool. I have seen it used to build a fire break in wildland scenarios.

    I believe there is a use for CAFs. Do I believe it's use is as wide spread as you do? Nope.

    Thanks for finally giving me some useful info.

    FyredUp

    Leave a comment:


  • cfire3
    replied
    Your welcome, just tryin to help.

    I wish I could see your reaction when you see a real CAFS discharge instead of 3/4 inch garden hoses and bubble cups And I was speaking about the nozzles and not venturi inductors. You will probably have to unlearn a lot of your previous foam education to ever appreciate CAFS and how to use class A foam.

    And you are not alone, there are a bunch of very professional fire fighters that are just as confussed about class A foam.

    Heck! I learn more about it everyday, and it just keeps gettin better. Sorry for the "drink it comment" it tastes terrible.

    Leave a comment:


  • FyredUp
    replied
    Thanks ChicagoFF,

    I'm am looking forward to what you find out.

    FyredUp

    Leave a comment:


  • FyredUp
    replied
    Originally posted by cfire3
    Good morning Fyredup (I hope I got it right that time), since you have mentioned my post again I feel as though it's an invitaion to respond. So to stick to your topic, and I would like to point out that I DO see you have said that you have a new class A FOAM system installed on your truck. And are asking for ideas when to use it. First of all, it IS a FOAM system and should be considered it will be used to create or generate FOAM. I would like to suggested how you might use your new foam system to connect it to an inexpensive apparatus that generates a very good foam, but that system doesn't seem to interest, you so I would like to suggest the other ways you might benefit from the foam system that you do have. You just can't help yourself can you?

    The type of foaming agent and the brand names will have important effects on the quality of the finished foam that you can expect to generate. I won't be able to mention brand names because I use nearly all of them depending on the application that I need them for. You will find that some of the agents are much better than others. One of the most important things you should consider, besides cost, is how durable is the foam that is created and what water/agent mixture is the minimum to withstand the discharge velocity of the type nozzle you will be using. Otherwise the foam will not hold together and you will create only a weting agent effect which is far less effectrive and much more wastefull than any type of foam application on class A type fires and never never on class B fires. Following the advice of others on here and from experience at my career FD we will be using it metered at between .1 and .3% for structural fire attack. We will have an aerated nozzle for heavier foam blanket applications when needed. I can tell you that with .5% on 3/4 inch garden hose with Bubble Cup nozzles we are able to make a very thick foam blanket that we have used for both structural overhaul and for wildland fire attack. This is from a 70 gpm 100 psi portable pump.

    If you use a foam nozzle you will need to greatly increase the amount of agent you inject into the water (follow manufacturers specs) because the aspirated foam nozzle is designed for a specific quality of agent and requires a fixed amount of water pressure and volume to work properly. IF the installed foam system is operated within spec and you don't exceed the total flow for the system out of that one discharge no matter what flow you flow it will make proper foam at the selected percentage. There is a major difference in operating from an installed system and using an eductor for foam production. An installed system uses a foam pump to pump the required foam for the flow. An eductor needs a specific pressure, usually 200 psi, and for the eductor and the nozzle to match. I spent 7 years as a CFR firefighter using foam systems with sperate pumps that worked fine over flow ranges from 100 gpm to 2000 gpm. The foam pump supplies what is needed to meet the meter setting. If you don't follow the factory instructions you will get a soupy slurry or wastefull application that runs-off into the watershed to pollute the drinking water and kill all the fish in the streams before it reaches the resevoirs. And CAFs foam just mystically and magically disappears into thin air or is picked up by the CAFs fairies. Eventually even that breaks down. And also beware of a chemical company that ships half full containers of class A foam and suggests they save you freight by not shipping all the water. It's a rip off. There is a whole nuther world opening up for the fire departments getting into the class a foam chemical business. We use a well known name brand and have used that same brand for most of the life of our use of Class A faom. I might suggest having a look at Paul Grimwoods posts, he has a lot of good class A foam information. Ummm, no thanks.

    I predict you will get board with the class A injector and will stop using it all together. It's just soapy water in your water hose. I guess we have a long attention span since we have been using it from Scotty systems for wildland and overhaul for a decade and then from our new brush truck for 2 years.
    I did find parts of what you said here informative, so thank you for that. But you still needed to throw your digs in. I am happy for you and for firegurl06 that pulling an industrial compressor behind a fire truck seems like a viable idea for fire attack. I am happy for both of you that CAFs is your answer to everything fire involved. Whether you are willing to admit it or not without sarcasm, COST is a real world issue for a factory installed, non-jury rigged CAFs system.

    Thanks for at least partially staying on topic this time.

    FyredUp

    Leave a comment:


  • ChicagoFF
    replied
    Some of the regulars were missing when I talked to the guys on the class a foam engine near me. They had no clue about the foam system. It doesn't seem like they were really using it. I'll try to find out more next day.

    Leave a comment:


  • FyredUp
    replied
    BirkenVogt

    FyredUp,

    I think they are the same person.

    Birken
    ummmm, ya think?

    I noticed some almost direct quote similarities between their posts...

    Just makes me laugh how "she" appeared out of nowhere. Found this topic. And then used almost word for word cfire3 argument to support CAFs.

    FyredUp

    Leave a comment:


  • cfire3
    replied
    Originally posted by BirkenVogt
    FyredUp,

    I think they are the same person.

    Birken
    Nope! I assure you I am cfire3 and only cfire3. But! you may have noticed that there are a lot of CAFS fire fighters begining to think alike. Even the female fire fighters are getting into the class a benefits.

    And many of them are City Managers, Mayors, Councilmen and Fire Chiefs.

    You may be getting a CAFS next, and some of this "how to use class A Foam" information might be very helpfull.

    Leave a comment:


  • res54cuecaptain
    replied
    Originally posted by BirkenVogt
    FyredUp,

    I think they are the same person.

    Birken
    i have no comment

    Leave a comment:

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