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Fire fighting with F-500 EA according to fire type
New ways of extinguishing damaging fires
When a photovoltaic system is on fire, firefighting often has to take different aspects into account than in the case of a fire in a power plant. Different materials and framework conditions lead to different fire risks and accordingly place specific requirements on the extinguishing agent used in each case.
Firefighting of solid organic flammable substances at the incipient fire
Protecting with F-500 EA fire extinguishers
Incipient fires are characterized by the fact that a fire phenomenon is spontaneously detected.
People who have a fire extinguisher available at that moment can immediately intervene in the first minute of the fire and extinguish the fire. If the fire has already spread and initial measures are no longer possible, persons must leave the fire room for their own protection and call the fire department.
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Firefighting of solid organic combustible materials in the interior attack
Improved visibility in the fire room
The interior attack by the fire department with F-500 EA-water mixture is carried out in the same way as with water without additives. There is no deviation from the known procedure when entering a fire room (door check, temperature check, smoke cooling)!
Existing standard rules of engagement must be observed!
This is followed by a direct, straight spray on the source of the fire. When using our own F-500 AWG Venturi hollow jet tubes, which are now widely used, or with standardized hollow jet tubes with a jet angle of 10 degrees to 20 degrees. This will achieve an initial effect and completely extinguish the fire.
The deployed forces will be able to notice that the water vapor generated during smoke cooling and fire fighting is much cooler. Due to the property of encapsulating smoke gases and smoke particles, visibility in the fire room is significantly improved – compared to proceeding with pure extinguishing water. The safety of the forces deployed is significantly increased and the actual fire fighting facilitated.
F-500 EA is used for fires involving solid organic flammable substances (fire class A) with a proportion of 0.1 percent to 1 percent in the extinguishing agent mixture.
Firefighting of solid organic combustible materials in the external attack
Intensive extinguishing attack for rapid success
Extinguishing fires of solid organic combustible materials (fire class A) with an F-500 EA water mixture is very similar to extinguishing with pure water. The more aggressive the extinguishing attack, the faster the desired extinguishing success is achieved.
The recommended application technique is initially a direct, straight spray on the source of the fire. When using our own F-500 AWG Venturi hollow jet nozzles, which are now widely used, or with standardized hollow jet nozzles with a jet angle of 10 degrees to 20 degrees. In this way, an initial effect is achieved.
This primary extinguishing measure abruptly reduces the smoke development (as a rule). By encapsulating the smoke gases and smoke particles, the visibility conditions for the emergency services are significantly improved.
Immediately after recognizing the first extinguishing success, an approach to the source of the fire can be made. Meanwhile, a more widespread combat of the entire burning area as well as the closer surroundings of the fire, is implemented with circular movements of our F-500 AWG Venturi hollow jet pipe or a standardized hollow jet pipe with a jet angle of 45 degrees. The faster the F-500 EA water mixture is applied to the entire area of the fire and the immediate surroundings, the faster the fire material is cooled and thus the fire is extinguished.
If compact solid materials are burning (e.g. straw, hay, paper bales, plastic and other waste pressed into bales), the surface of the bales is first extinguished with the F-500 EA water mixture using a spray jet. The inside of the bales can then be applied with the F-500 EA water mixture by means of a common extinguishing lance, using the usual extinguishing technique.
F-500 EA is used for fires of solid organic combustible materials (fire class A) with a proportion of 0.1 percent to 1 percent in the extinguishing agent mixture.
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Fire fighting for burning polar and non-polar liquids
Optimum extinguishing effect due to intensive mixing
F-500 EA extinguishes liquid fires by combining rapid heat extraction with encapsulation of the flammable liquid, combustible vapors and free radicals.
F-500 EA is not a foam agent and is not delivered through foam pipes. It is not the objective of the firefighting attack to cover a burning liquid.
Optimum extinguishing success is achieved when the F-500 EA water mixture is aggressively applied to or into the burning liquid by means of a spray jet (45 degree jet angle on our F-500 AWG Venturi hollow jet pipes or on the standardized hollow jet pipe) and circular movements of the jet pipe. The more intensive the mixing of the F-500 EA water mixture with the surface of the burning liquid takes place, the faster it is encapsulated, simultaneously cooled and thus extinguished. The use of full jet during the firefighting attack should be avoided, as this may result in longer extinguishing times.
After the fire is extinguished, further mixing with the F-500 EA water mixture can be done using full jet. This completes the encapsulation as well as the resulting inertization of the flammable liquid. Once the liquid is inerted (recommendation: continuous control with an Ex-measuring device), cleaning and disposal operations can be carried out without further risk of re-ignition.
F-500 EA is used when extinguishing liquid fires (fire class B) with a proportion of 3 percent in the extinguishing agent mixture.
Inerting of spilled flammable liquids
Emulsification against flammable vapors
When used in proper proportions, spills of fluids such as operating fluids, hydraulic oils, and numerous other flammable hydrocarbons/chemicals can be permanently inerted with an F-500 EA water mixture. At least five parts of 3 percent F-500 EA water mixture to one part of spilled liquid must be used and intensively mixed with it. The stable emulsion formed by mixing no longer gives off any appreciable flammable vapors. The effect is more effective the lower the vapor pressure of the flammable liquid. For safety, the ignition hazard must be controlled with an explosion protection device. The safety of the forces deployed is significantly increased – e.g. during rescue work after a traffic accident. Further handling (collection and disposal of the mixture) is facilitated.
When disposing of the inert emulsions produced by F-500 EA, the applicable legal ordinances and regulations must be observed.
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Fire fighting of flammable gases
Cut off gas supply as quickly as possible and protect surroundings by cooling
Flammable gases are not normally extinguished. The surrounding area is protected by cooling and the gas supply is stopped as quickly as possible.
Only if it is ensured after extinguishing the gas flame that the gas supply can be stopped immediately, the flame may be extinguished with F-500 EA water mixture and the conventional extinguishing technique! It should be noted that often the gas is under pressure, loud discharge noises can be heard and there is a risk of re-ignition. Otherwise, the cooling effect of F-500 EA, which is up to three times higher than the use of water without additive, acts to cool the environment.
Firefighting for light metal fires such as aluminum or magnesium
Spray mist creates cooling
F-500 EA water mixture can be used to extinguish burning metals such as magnesium, titanium, zirconium (in the form of chips and shapes).
Metal fires are extinguished with a 3 percent F-500 EA water mixture. For this purpose, the fire is first fought indirectly with the mist of the spray. A brief flare-up must be expected. Depending on the size of the fire, the burning metal is then cooled by means of the spray jet at a low constant pressure until the temperatures are below the ignition temperature and thus re-ignition is no longer possible.
Note: Metal fires must never be fought with a direct sharp jet (full jet). Alkali metals such as sodium cannot be extinguished with F-500 EA!
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Fighting a grease fire
Using water mist technology with the F-500 EA grease fire extinguisher
To avoid a so-called grease explosion, never use a sharp water jet to extinguish a grease fire. In the case of grease fires, if possible, prevent air (oxygen) from entering the grease. This can be done by covering the vessel filled with the burning fat (e.g. with a lid or a fire blanket).
An alternative possibility – without exposing yourself to the risk of combustion – is the use of our 6 liter water fog extinguisher WA 6 RC F-500 EA. It is suitable as a grease fire extinguisher for fire class F (and for fire class A) and is approved accordingly. When used by fire departments, grease fires are extinguished with a 3 percent F-500 EA water mixture via our F-500 AWG turbo sprayer VENTURI 75-C or a standardized hollow jet pipe with a fine spray jet in the rapid attack.
The aim is to cool and extinguish the burning fat and to prevent re-ignition. This is where the so-called safe effect (encapsulation) comes into play as a result of the emulsion formation.
Fire fighting for burning and reacting lithium-ion batteries.
The effective extinguishing agent for battery fires
Reacting lithium-ion batteries are fought with spray and a 1 percent admixture of F-500 EA to water. Due to the reaction hazard of the individual battery elements, seek cover and maintain distance during the initial stages of firefighting.
When extinguishing burning and reacting lithium-ion batteries with F-500 EA, a great cooling effect unfolds. The sometimes still prevailing opinion that a lot of water is sufficient to extinguish these battery fires is only partly true. Experts warn against rapid re-ignition, since the reaction energy of the batteries in short-circuit mode cannot be sustainably extinguished with water alone. Volunteer fire departments in action, which usually have fire water tanks of limited size, reach the end of their extinguishing capacity after only a short time.
Extinguishing with an F-500 EA water mixture is different: as numerous practical experiences have shown, the extinguishing agent has a very high cooling capacity and can thus effectively combat the emerging hazards even with a low input of materials and resources, so that the self-heating of the battery cells is stopped and thus also the spread of the fire through the ignition and explosion of neighboring cells (chain reaction = thermal runaway). Rapid extinguishing also reduces the quantities of corrosive and toxic pollutants such as hydrofluoric acid caused by the fire reaction and stops the spread of fire as a result of thermal runaway. Re-ignition of the battery and a renewed battery fire after extinguishing is drastically reduced, thus ensuring maximum safety for the extinguisher.
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“With the help of the extinguishing agent additive, fires can be extinguished quickly and damage can be minimized already during the fire process.”
Marcello Fend, managing director and fire protection expert