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Friday
Nov112011

Rescue Tape

     In the hazardous materials field we are always looking for new items to add to our “Magic Bag of Tricks” for incident response. The purpose for this constant search is generally two fold. One, due to constant manpower cutbacks, being able to shorten time on scene becomes critical when the weather is inclement. In most States, time and materials are subject to seasonal changes. Everyone appreciates the benefit of making repairs when the weather is temperate. Some repairs have strict limits as to when their application will benefit the user. Painting is one such example. Depending on the time and temperature of each day can be critical for a successful outcome.

     Such is the same for plumbing repairs at a hazardous material spill site. Depending on the temperature, shape of vessel, and material that is leaking, repairs can be lengthy or sometimes impossible without off-loading the contaminant first. In most cases this is a long and complicated operation for manpower, skills, response time involving like materials, not to mention causing multiple problems with work stoppages and traffic congestion. These principles are detailed in my first book “Practical Haz Mat”. We all “jest” at how duct tape can fix anything. So much so, that the makers of duct tape contacted our training facility as they were “concerned” we might suggest its use on hazardous materials sites. Subsequently we assured them that this “concept” was a known source of humor, and we did not recommend their products use for any other purpose than what they intended it for. In a more “real” sense, I believe there is a product much better for all around use.

     Rescue Tape, may be found at www.rescuetape.com and is an excellent tool for your “magic bag of tricks”. Six {6} rolls can be shipped to you at a cost of around 40.00 to 50.00 dollars and in my opinion is well worth this amount. I carry it in my car and haz mat bag, and have used it several times in the field. Rescue Tape was originally devised for a fix-all in a military setting. These conditions can be extremely severe, so the functionality of a product like this must be high. It carries the “Mil-Spec” {Military Specification Approval} of CID A-A-59163 and can be used for limitless possibilities. Most common are; pre-heated radiator hoses, water hose and pipeline repairs, electrical insulation, any plumbing repair, and even for making as needed “O” rings for smaller equipment.

Rescue Tape is a self-fusing silicone tape that works by stretching and wrapping. After 60 seconds, this material forms a permanent bond that cannot be undone. When use is finished, it must be cut off. Following the installation instructions with each roll, creates a wrap that will withstand 950psi. When used as insulation, each wrap insulates against 8,000 volts/layer. Thus, three {3} layers will protect the user against 24,000 volts! Additionally, it will remain protective up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. In severe situations this tape remains flexible and useable down to -85 degrees Fahrenheit.

When Rescue Tape is applied correctly, it forms a permanent air and water tight seal keeping both these elements at bay with only a 60 second wait time. This is especially useful when making site repairs where continuous systems can only be diverted for very short periods before cause system backup problems. As many Has Mat site systems are continuous, this feature eliminates waiting for a plant shut-down. Sometimes these systems take as long as 8 hours to completely shutdown. This material has no sticky side, so it never gums up like old electrical tape will. The shelf life of this product is yet to be determined because of this feature. So basically, you will probably use it before it wears out, how nice is that! Its resistance to chemical exposure is also impressive. It resists fuels, oils, acids, solvents, and salt water. Many of the initial issues we deal with in hazardous materials response. For longer term needed repairs, it also resists road salt and ultraviolet radiation {sunshine}.

I found this product at a sailboat show and truly believe its “the cats’ meow”. It even comes available in a handful of colors and widths. This is a nice extra as you can color code repairs by product lines. This product truly is a “Practical Haz Mat” solution for your responses. Duct Tape move over, there is a new kid on the block and he is staying in my magic bag of tricks.

                                       Haz Mat Mike   

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