[GSBN] FW: Straw Bale House Fire
mfhammer at pacbell.net
Fri Apr 3 00:34:33 CDT 2009
Below are Don Fisher's answers to my questions.
There is great promise here to do SB fire-fighting testing. We've connected
with someone from the U.S. fire fighting community who has real interest and
some energy around this. In #3 he proposes a facility for the testing, and
suggests it could be "relatively cheap". But some amount of money will of
course be needed, and he doesn't seem to have access to or authority to
contribute financial resources.
It seems obvious to me that we should pursue this, but I don't want to get
too far ahead. There's a lot to be worked out, including an intelligent
testing program to be determined, specimens to be constructed, people's
willingness and availability, money for expenses (including people's time?).
The proposed testing site is northern Arizona, and it seems that David
Eisenberg (by virtue of proximity, virtue of his experience, and virtue of
his virtues) is an obvious person to be at least one of the collaborators in
this. (Do you like the way I volunteered you David?)
Please read what Don has to say. I'm interested in people's thoughts on
this, especially if those thoughts get us closer to making this real.
1. What do you think of the idea of using CO2 instead of water
to inject into hot spots?
Using CO2 on Class A materials is not very effective as this does not remove
the heat side of the the fire tetrahedron. It can work but requires a large
amount of CO2. It may work because of the closed compartment fire. The big
problem with fires in walls is that even if the fire is knocked down you
still need to open the wall(s) to check for fire extension.
2. Do firefighters commonly carry CO2 fire extinguishers on
This is regulated by NFPA Standard 1901 which only requires the following
(6) One approved dry chemical portable fire extinguisher with a minimum
80 -B:C rating mounted in a bracket fastened to the apparatus
(7) One 2-1/2 gal. (9.5 -L) or larger water extinguisher mounted in a
bracket fastened to the apparatus.
Most departments will comply with this by carrying one 35lb extinguisher.
3. Are there financial resources or testing facilities available in the
firefighting community to conduct the testing you propose?
There are testing facilities, but I do not know of any money available for
testing. I think the financial resources should come from the straw bale
builders associations as a marketing tool to increase the awareness to fire
fighters. The testing should be relatively cheap.
I would be able to arrange to do the testing at the Northern Arizona
Training Center. We could build walls and put in electrical devices that
would cause a fire in the wall. We could then test different extinguishing
methods. The amount of testing would be governed by the amount of effort
and funding the associations would be willing to put into it.
4. Are there financial resources available for developing a
training program and for subsequent education of firefighters?
I do not know of any funding that is available but I would be able to help
develop the materials and to disseminate them in the right information
I will be contacting Dr. Chuck Kime the director of ASU Fire programs
(Former Fire Marshall for the City of Phoenix) and will get back with you
after the conversation.
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