Of all fire suppression and extinguishing agents, foam features a thicker, stable aqueous consistency that uses a three-pronged approach for putting out a blaze. Ideal for addressing fires from flammable and combustible sources, foam first reduces the temperature of the heat present and then creates a barrier between the fuel and oxygen, which acts as an igniter. Foam then smothers the fire, preventing it from spreading and reigniting.

Due to these properties, firefighting departments, as well as industrial and manufacturing environments, prefer foam for its swift and reliable performance.

What Is Firefighting Foam?

Not all fires are created equal. In many cases, water is a sufficient suppression agent. Yet, for liquid fuel, certain chemicals, oil and electrical fires, it has little to no effect - and may simply boil once thrown onto the flames.

Firefighting foam addresses these specific and quick-to-spread hazards. With a thinner consistency than oil, foam is made of small air-containing bubbles. Once sprayed, this solution composed of water, foam concentrate and air from the bubbles forms a thick sheet over the area.

Whether directly applied by a team of firefighters or as part of a foam fire suppression system, this material controls the flames by cooling and coating the source. This approach reduces the temperature, cuts off contact with oxygen, contains the flames and suppresses flammable vapors.

Types of Firefighting Foam

Common types of firefighting foams include:

  • Aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), the most widely used type
  • Alcohol resistant aqueous film firefighting foam (AR-AFFF), also widely used
  • Detergents designed to expand
  • Class "A" foam concentrate
  • Fluoroprotein

For foam fire suppression systems, foam and water are stored in separate tanks. The two substances mix once the system detects heat. Upon application, the foam expands to cover more area than water alone and more effectively control the flames.

Make sure you select the right firefighting foam for the source. Certain flammable and combustible liquids separate from water - for example, gasoline and other fuels. Others, including solvents and alcohol-based substances, easily mix with and absorb water.

Shop Firefighting Foam at Fire Safety USA

Keep your team or your fire suppression system adequately stocked and ready to respond to an emergency. Browse all solutions now at Fire Safety USA before placing an order online, through our call center or our direct fax line.

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