As industrial activities and urban landscapes evolve to become more complex, fire fighting technology must constantly innovate to deal with new fire threats posed by built up areas, manufacturing environments and high rise towers. How is the industry responding?
Modern cities and industrial activities are creating complex environments, leading to the possibility of dangerous fires that are difficult to reach or subdue. Fire fighting has been forced to look beyond current methods to effectively knock down difficult fires.
The One Seven Group is dealing with emergent fire situations by innovating in the field of Compressed Air Foam (CAF) systems to offer its One Seven solution. The development of One Seven technology started in the mid 1990’s with mobile systems, with fixed installations available since 2002.
At the heart of One Seven is a particularly effective extinguishing foam. The One Seven foam generator transforms each drop of water into seven foam bubbles by adding foam concentrate and compressed air. This creates a foam blanket that sticks to all surfaces in the fire scene.
This adhesive property has multiple fire suppression effects. The foam covers the surface of the solid or liquid fuel, stopping the release of flammable gases thus stopping the incineration immediately. The adhesive foam vaporizes on the fuel to bring its temperature below the flash point and shields the heat release form the hot surfaces into the fire scene. In addition it shields un-ignited fuel from the fire’s heat radiation and prevents its ignition.
The basic premise to create a solution that is effective enough to achieve rapid-fire knockdown that in turn drastically lowers property damage.
Water usage is also a consideration, both in terms of property damage and environmental impact. One Seven’s reduced water usage prevents water damage and facilitates clean up. The technology allows up to 90% utilisation of the water discharged on the fire scene, compared to a mere 5-10% with conventional fire fighting methods.
Beside the superior efficiency One Seven provides added safety for the fire crews especially in dangerous interior structural attacks. CAF technology’s effectiveness was formally recognised by NFPA in 2006. CAF is now part of the NFPA 11 standard, where it forms a separate category besides the conventional low, medium and high expansion foams.
One Seven’s fire fighting efficiency and universal applicability has seen it sold to over 1,500 fire departments worldwide. Numerous fixed installations have been implemented to date – mostly in industrial applications. One Seven’s CAF technology has been proven to effectively combat dangerous fires even in difficult locations, such as tunnels.
One Seven has condensed and integrated its technology into effective mobile solutions for fire crews. The Group has created mobile systems that combine centrifugal pump, foam proportioner, compressor and foam generator with automatic regulation technology. The system ensures the consistent and replicable production of extinguishing foam without needing manual adjustments.
The Group says that its mobile solutions put fire fighter safety front and centre through technological advances that include a simple one-button operation, safe attack distance due to a throwing range of up to 80 metres, and lightweight equipment resulting in easier mobility. The specific properties of the One Seven extinguishing foam also result in rapid cooling of fire scenes, better sight due to reduced smoke, reduced risk of re-ignition due to the foam’s cooling blanket, and safe operation in electrical plants.
One Seven falls under Gimaex, an international group that focuses on the development and production of vehicles, systems, equipment and devices for fire fighting, aerial and technical rescue, environmental protection and communication.
Gimaex has been fighting fires since 1934, and is one of the oldest manufacturers of vehicles and equipment in the field. It has a network of bases across Europe, with each location adding unique competences to its overall offering. This gives Gimaex the resources to engage in innovation. Gimaex employees are also heavily involved in voluntary fire brigades and rescue units, which lets the Group draw on first hand expertise and insight in creating new technology.
One Seven is an excellent application of CAF technology, which provides fire response units new means to tackle dangerous blazes. As living spaces and industrial activity give rise to new threats, fire fighting technology is finding ways to keep pace.
For more information, go to www.oneseven.com