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Saturday
Nov052016

Foam 110.2 Concentrate Labeling

While concentrate labeling may be slightly different for various sized Foam concentrate containers, keep in mind the “size” container you choose for storage and transportation. While firefighting and hazardous materials incidents usually restrict themselves to the 5 gallon pail, realize that they have a good source of manpower under a constant availability to move and transport all these containers. Departments that specialize in equipment handling as opposed to high volumes of manpower, can afford larger containers such as the 300 to 500 gallon “tote” or larger. All depending on how they can effectively move these concentrate containers to the desired incident site.

Regardless of size, all containers should have some critical information on them. Such as;

1] Percentage concentration

2] Performance standard certification

3] Health hazards

4] Use instructions

5] Storage instructions

          The percentage concentration is critical for proper use. Additionally, if Foam concentrate is used in tandem due to shortages or an event which is of long duration due to its intensity, your percentage on “eduction” may have to change. This is important for engineers to know when these changes affect them and the overall success of the incident. Eduction percentage must change the moment a different concentration is used for effective application of your finished foam blanket. These types of adjustments are the key to successful Foam concentrate integration during use.

          Certifications included by UL or FM insure the quality of product you are currently using. If these are not included, the quality of Foam concentrate you are using should be suspect. Quality reduction can result in a multitude of elements such as life safety, volume of concentrate needed for successful extinguishment, cost, and successful vaporization mitigation. All of these directly reflect on personnel safety and should not be taken lightly.

          Health hazards are not only needed for proper storage techniques, but also serve the immediate responder when specialized equipment is needed. Some may require the use of specialized protective equipment under extended use. Under either scenario, successful mitigation is not complete if your response personnel are placed at risk due to product exposure. Be sure your crew is properly outfitted for prolonged contact during handling of Foam concentrate.

          Use instructions are an obvious plus for members that may not have or had, extended experience with Foam application Training. Always be sure to have experienced engineers operating the pump panel and/or eduction when operating Foam operations. Inexperienced personnel are better suited to hand line operation or master stream devices during these incidents.

          Storage instructions are critical to ensure the “next” incident will make available Foam concentrate that will perform to your standards. Improperly stored Foam concentrate may not perform to a level that a successful mitigation requires. Proper storage (post or pre incident) should be viewed the same as proper maintenance to your Engine or “system”. Having these labeling requirements as a reminder, will enhance frequent Training, and insure a successful incident by your Team.

                         Haz Mat Mike

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