To CAFS or not to CAFS. To me, that's an easy one.

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80Sierra
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

To CAFS or not to CAFS. To me, that's an easy one.

Postby 80Sierra » Thu Sep 24, 2015 1:48 am

Currently, there are many departments that are starting to "drink the cool aid" when it comes to the salesmen's BS about the benefits of running this extremely complex, expensive and unreliable system. Yeah Yeah, "well you know you can paint the outside of the building for exposure protection". I have heard this so many times and I'm not sold and I don't believe it makes any sense. If a building is burning and the flames are in contact with a building next door the foam that has been applied to the side will break down and do nothing. Why? Because that's not what it's designed to do. It's designed to provided a high expansion foam on to a fire directly or allow for water to penetrate a surface in the case of a wildlands fire situation, which is what it was originally manufactured for. If at any time you are using CAFS during an interior attack you better hope that the system doesn't malfunction and produce "slug flow " or you just dumped a ton of fresh air on an oxygen starved fire and you know what happens next. I'm not saying "don't use foam", what I'm saying is this system is unnecessary and a system like a Hale Foam Pro, for example, is sufficient, compact, less labour intensive when it breaks (they don't break often) and more user friendly.

bigsmoke
Posts: 284
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Postby bigsmoke » Thu Sep 24, 2015 4:56 pm

[quote=""80Sierra""]Currently, there are many departments that are starting to "drink the cool aid" when it comes to the salesmen's BS about the benefits of running this extremely complex, expensive and unreliable system. Yeah Yeah, "well you know you can paint the outside of the building for exposure protection". I have heard this so many times and I'm not sold and I don't believe it makes any sense. If a building is burning and the flames are in contact with a building next door the foam that has been applied to the side will break down and do nothing. Why? Because that's not what it's designed to do. It's designed to provided a high expansion foam on to a fire directly or allow for water to penetrate a surface in the case of a wildlands fire situation, which is what it was originally manufactured for. If at any time you are using CAFS during an interior attack you better hope that the system doesn't malfunction and produce "slug flow " or you just dumped a ton of fresh air on an oxygen starved fire and you know what happens next. I'm not saying "don't use foam", what I'm saying is this system is unnecessary and a system like a Hale Foam Pro, for example, is sufficient, compact, less labour intensive when it breaks (they don't break often) and more user friendly.[/quote]

Was on a department that had a CAFS on board the new pump and it was the biggest waste of time. We had numerous training sessions with the manufacturer, and other firefighters who were apparently trained. We never used it in actual attack. Why? Because we could never gain any amount of confidence with it in training.

Even when we asked the firefighters from another department who came to train us if they actually used it they replied no. Why? Because nobody had the faith to use it in first attack.
I'm a big believer in foam when used correctly. But CAFS is a theory method that looks great on paper, ....... in a book, ....... on a shelf .......
B.S.
"Anyone can be trained to be a firefighter, it takes brains to survive"

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Roree403
Posts: 567
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Postby Roree403 » Thu Apr 28, 2016 9:16 pm

I can't say specifically with CAFS foam but quite often we will paint exposures with 1% foam and in my experience it works great. It may not protect perfectly with respect to direct flame impingement but it works terrific to deal with radiant heat. Best example I can give is a pickup parked 5 feet away from a window with flames blowing out. Truck was painted with foam prior to window blowing out and it never even blistered the paint. We have also used it to protect cedar shake roofs from embers, again with good success.


[quote=""80Sierra""]Currently, there are many departments that are starting to "drink the cool aid" when it comes to the salesmen's BS about the benefits of running this extremely complex, expensive and unreliable system. Yeah Yeah, "well you know you can paint the outside of the building for exposure protection". I have heard this so many times and I'm not sold and I don't believe it makes any sense. If a building is burning and the flames are in contact with a building next door the foam that has been applied to the side will break down and do nothing. Why? Because that's not what it's designed to do. It's designed to provided a high expansion foam on to a fire directly or allow for water to penetrate a surface in the case of a wildlands fire situation, which is what it was originally manufactured for. If at any time you are using CAFS during an interior attack you better hope that the system doesn't malfunction and produce "slug flow " or you just dumped a ton of fresh air on an oxygen starved fire and you know what happens next. I'm not saying "don't use foam", what I'm saying is this system is unnecessary and a system like a Hale Foam Pro, for example, is sufficient, compact, less labour intensive when it breaks (they don't break often) and more user friendly.[/quote]
"Amateurs built the Arc but professionals built the Titanic"


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Roree403


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