COMMERCIAL. EMERGENCY SERVICES. MOTOR AND MARINE. AVIATION. MILITARY.
Cold Fire® is different while being designed to work with water.
As a wetting agent, it enhances the extinguishing properties of water. So once added, it will remove heat and cool areas faster. It will extinguish and keep fires extinguished longer and Environmentally Friendly and makes firefighting safer.
Cold Fire® is simple to use. Use it across all classifications of fires.
Class A fuels such as wood once extinguished will remain extinguished. Cold Fire® penetrates deep into the fibres of timber and stops fire spreading back across already burnt areas.
Class B fuels such as petrol extinguished quickly and without the mess created by other fire suppressants. The fuel will mix (emulsify) with Cold Fire® and becomes inert. Fuel will not re-ignite and you will not find flames creeping back across areas already extinguished. This clear benefit is why motorsports across the globe use Cold Fire®.
Cold Fire® strips the hydrocarbons from smoke, so less harmful chemicals are released into the atmosphere, which is obviously better for every down-wind community. You will also see a dramatic reduction in water usage. Less water means less damage and overall, less water run-off.
Cold Fire® reduces the risk to fire crews by cutting down the time firefighters remain exposed to heat and harmful hydrocarbons.
Cold Fire® is non-toxic, non-corrosive, and 100% Biodegradable. It is certified Free of Toxic Chemicals so that you won’t find any man-made Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in Cold Fire®.
Firefighters can safely touch surfaces, car doors, door handles on-premises, and other surfaces can be checked (thermal imaging camera) and now handled.
Boundary cooling is enhanced. Cold Fire® provides a level of thermal protection to any surface from radiant heat and removes the chance of further damage.
The first thing to know, it’s not new. Cold Fire® has been available since 1991 and is currently used across the globe today by Fire and Rescue Services. It is from a US-based family run business.
The original formula was discovered in the 1930s in Europe. During several forest fires, a family member noted that some individual trees secreted saps that protected them during the fire. These saps were taken, and after several attempts mixing with mineral salts and water, one of the first known Wetting Agents was developed.
So, some basics first.
- It is NOT a Class B foam (AFFF – Aqueous Film Forming Foam)
- It is NOT a Class A foam (or concentrated form of foam)
- It is NOT a Dry Powder (or concentrated form of dry powder)
100% a naturally made Proprietary blend. It contains several tree saps, mineral salts (from the soil) and mineral water. It does not contain man-made toxic chemicals. It has been independently tested and is free from Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), including PFOA and PFOS that are known as forever chemicals.
Todays Cold Fire® has developed over many years, and it is a Wetting Agent.
The definition of a wetting agent is;
“a concentrate that when added to water reduces its surface tension and increases its ability to penetrate and spread, extending the efficiency of water and the extinguishment of Class A and Class B fires”.
A truly GREEN firefighting wetting agent capable of fighting Class A, B, D or F type fires.
Environmentally Friendly in the real sense of the word.
100% biodegradable, non-toxic, non-corrosive, non-slip, safe to handle, soluble in water and indefinite shelf life.
There is NOT a current UK/EU Standard for testing Wetting Agents, but we are closely involved with the FIA (Fire Industry Association) in helping to define an appropriate new ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) standard.
We are familiar with the new upcoming European Commission Regulation, EU 2017/100. This new regulation states that by 4th July 2020, firefighting foam (AFFF) concentrates are NOT ALLOWED to include a concentration greater or equal to:
- 25 parts per billion (ppb) of PFOA or its salts
- 1000ppb of one or a combination of PFOA-related substances
So what does this mean to the Fire and Rescue Services? In real-terms, very little. You will find that many of the suppliers of foams have already achieved this, so if you are looking for AFFF, ensure you choose one of the new ones. If you are looking for a wetting agent to sit alongside your current AFFF or a swap out a replacement, I’m afraid it’s not as easy as that.
Here, in the UK/EU, Firefighting Agents fall into either Class B foam or Class A foam. Across the globe and in particular the US, UL (Underwriters Laboratories) and NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) have for many years had a dedicated wetting agent standard (US UL Reg NFPA 18). Here in the UK/EU confusion continues when many of the well-known Class A firefighting agents get referred to as wetting agents when they might just be, a Class A foam. So are they a true wetting agent or just a Class A foam?
What you need to know.
There are Natural Wetting Agents and Synthetic Wetting Agents. We always suggest that you look at the agent’s MSDS (material safety data sheet), this document can tell you so much and will indicate where they might fall, Natural or Synthetic? So remember, please do your homework, as not all wetting agents are created equal. Not all wetting agents offer the level of the benefits Cold Fire® can offer either.
So, what standards does Cold Fire® have?
- Cold Fire® has UL NFPA 18/UL 2N75 (now recognised as base standard by UK FIA – Fire Industry Association for future IOS Wetting Agent Standard)
- Approved for Wildfire application in the US and Canada, with a Total Flooding Classification
- US EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency), SNAP (Significantly New Alternative Policy Program) listed
- US EPA Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics. Acute toxicity of chemicals in the aquatic environment, Cold Fire® (302) is considered to be of low concern
- US NTOA (National Tactical Officers Association) listed
- US DOT (Department of Transport) Hazard Classification System – Not regulated/Not applicable
- Disposal. Non-hazardous waste in accordance with local regulations
We are here to help and support you through this maze.
Cold Fire® has the benefit of attacking two sides of a Fire Triangle: Reducing heat instantly on contact, in fact, up to twenty-one (21) times faster than water alone. It encapsulates and emulsifies fuels preventing re-ignition and at the same time dealing with hydrocarbons from the smoke. It works across all fuels type including polar solvents, metals, tyres and even magnesium.
Cold Fire® penetrates deep into fibrous material. Wooden structures are quickly extinguished while protecting from re-ignition. Cold Fire® provides enhanced thermal protection; boundary cooling is enhanced. You can use it directly on the tarmac to reduce heat and protect the road surface. Every vehicle in the FRS fleet that can pump water can use Cold Fire®.
An Incident Commander (IC) has so many considerations before committing to the use of firefighting agents. Many require continuous monitoring for burn-back, weather changes and other factors, so unless you are ready, you cannot commit. Cold Fire® is different. The IC can commit to using Cold Fire® from the very beginning. No need for time delays. Every drop will start to work immediately on contact. You have a single multi-class A and B agent providing crews with greater effectiveness, greater efficiency and safer operations.
The motorsport industry has been using Cold Fire® for many years. NASCAR, Indy Car, Drag Racing (Santa Pod), British Touring Cars and now the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) in their vehicle suppression systems use Cold Fire®. It is simply the safest and most effective firefighting agent available to them for the different types of highly volatile fuels used. These same benefits can be used for our Fire and Rescue Services, Wildfire and Moorland Fires, Waste Site Health and Safety team and many other end-users.
Example of Grassland fire
Cold Fire® is TEN times more efficient than water. Once added, your 10 litres of water becomes 100 litres equivalent. That 100 litres become a 1,000 litres. 1,000 becomes 100,000 litres. You get the picture, the quicker you can use Cold Fire®, the better the results. Less water used means less water damage.
Cold Fire® is SIX times thinner than water. In dry conditions, water is simply too big. Used on grassland it is not efficient enough to penetrate deep into the soil. With burning grassland as fuel, it becomes even less efficient. Cold Fire® mixes with water and now provides you with water that can go deeper and get to the roots that are now smouldering under the surface. Under test conditions, Cold Fire® was up to 39% faster than water to extinguish deep and dry peat.
Cold Fire® cools TWENTY-ONE faster than water. Remove the heat, and you remove the fire. We have seen countless times how Cold Fire® removes heat on contact, and even though it might sound crazy, Cold Fire® can deal with temperatures far higher than a grassland fire can produce. Cold Fire® can extinguish Class D fires that reach more than 3,100 °C (5,610 °F), and this achieved with very little water. Without Cold Fire®, you need vast volumes of water to cope with the megawatts a fire front can create.
This page is all about Cold Fire®, so we need to ensure that our visitors leave with a full understanding of the unique set of benefits using Cold Fire® will bring to them. If you are here from a Fire and Rescue Service, you can rest assured that using Cold Fire® will be simple and easy to use, if it pumps water then we are 99% sure it will pump Cold Fire®. If you are here from a service or utility site, again Cold Fire® will provide you with the peace of mind that it will not only protect your site, but downtime will become a thing of the past. So let’s look at some of these key areas.
We know that corrosive chemicals can play havoc with equipment. Sometimes cleaning is never quite enough. Cold Fire® has successfully completed extensive toxicity, corrosive and biodegradability testing. SGS (Société Générale de Surveillance) has carried out DOT corrosion testing on Aluminium and Steel. A severe corrosion rate is anything that exceeds 6.25mm per year, Cold Fire® achieved 0.07mm p/y (Aluminum) and 0.23mm p/y (Steel). Cold Fire® was listed as a non-hazardous material, requiring minimal clean-up, is non-staining, leaves no residue and is not a slipping hazard.
Another reassuring test for the Head of Fleet and Technical Services at any Fire and Rescue Services. Cold Fire® has been tested for Degradation and Tensile Strength (lb brake-load) of fire hose. In total, seventy-five (75) samples were immersed for 30 days in a Cold Fire® mixture. These are removed and tested. Distilled water was used to gain a baseline;
Distilled Water score = 26.9 (avg) and 3% Cold Fire® had a score = 26.0 (avg).
Cold Fire® was noted that it will not cause any ill effects on your equipment. Cold Fire® is not only green but, non-toxic and non-corrosive. We often say, “just use Cold Fire® the same as you would use water”. These results back-up these claims.
Research yet to be released will show how Cold Fire® can make a huge difference when dealing with deep-seated Peatland Wildfires. Peat is known to be highly unpredictable and very difficult to extinguish, if not contained at an early stage, it can burn for many days, weeks or months. Results have shown that a 3% – 5% mix of Cold Fire® will reduce extinguishing times to between 26% – 39% respectively compared to using just water. This research was carried out at ICL (Imperial College London), Hazelab research group of PROF GUILLERMO REIN for heat transfer, condensed-phase chemistry and thermodynamics of fires, both inside buildings and in the forest.
Without clear UK/EU tests available to show the effects of using Cold Fire® on our Green and Pleasant Land, we have to look to existing tests carried out by the US and Canada Division of Forestry on Cold Fire®. In both cases, it was added to their QPL (Qualified Product List). Further discrete tests carried out by the Bureau of Land Management on use of SEAT (Single-engine Air Tankers) to support suppression tactics in grass, brush and timber fuel types. CAL FIRE (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection) evaluation of products for the helicopter bucket. Tests involved the assessment of Cold Fire® for magnesium corrosion (uniform and intergranular), a requirement for the fixed-tank helicopter application, it was approved. This concluded a fifty-month (50) test program. It passed these trials without any known soil retrogression and degradation. Cold Fire® has a total flooding status.
The FIA and WISH (Waste Industry Safety and Health) have been working together looking at wetting agents due to the unique benefits they offer firefighters over the use of water during a waste fire. Recently the FIA set up a new Lithium-ion Battery Special Interests Group (SIG) due to the ever-growing body of evidence showing how wetting agents deal with Lithium-ion Batteries in waste fires. FIA and WISH have representatives from the FRS/NFCC (National Fire Chief Council) sitting on their committees and play a crucial role in the direction of any future standard.
Cold Fire® has been documented by several Fire and Rescue Service on occasions where the continued use of water was unsuccessful on waste fires. Sites with wood, plastic and metals have all been extinguished quickly, and when applied following usage guidelines, water run-off has been non-existent. Cold Fire® is used in fixed suppression systems across many waste sites. Used in both Automatic Targeted Fire Suppression systems and High Pressure Misting systems Cold Fire® protects both external and internal processing halls, it also provides protection for hydraulic plants and conveyors across these sites. Designed to provide fire suppression with no downtime, Cold Fire® does not create a mess, so once the fire is extinguished, sites can be back at work within minutes. These systems have saved and protected many key waste sites across the UK.
Throughout the year Cold Fire® continued to provide users with first-hand evidence of its benefits, when we held a number of live burns held at key Fire and Rescue Services across the UK. Anyone investigating new firefighting agents, or looking at changing their current products or indeed, looking to move to Cold Fire® will need the whole picture.
With no UK/EU standard suitable to use as a template for our Wetting Agent test, the FIA decided to follow the US UL NFPA 18/UL 2N75 Standard. Like many standards, it follows limitations of use, test methods, class of fire and extinguishing tests. These by their nature are focused on Class A fuels and deep-seated fires, however, it will also cover key elements of Class B due to the unique benefits wetting agents bring to fuel fires that foaming agents simply cannot match. With the upcoming change on the 4th July 2020 to AFFF, there has been a further twist.
The ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) is now moving forward on a proposal to look at further stricter controls over the usage of PFAS. It is now a legal requirement for ECHA to investigate. The UK will continue to be part of ECHA after we have left the EU. In an article by Peter Simpson, Senior Scientific Officer at ECHA, he mentioned companies have started to replace prohibited chemicals list under the Stockholm Convention with different types of PFAS. Mr Simpson said; “This too raises some concerns as even if the substitutes are not as toxic as the regulated PFAS, they may also be very persistent in the environment and may have some yet unknown toxic effects,”. Johanna Peltola-Thies, Senior Scientific Officer at ECHA went further and said; “As long as we continue using these chemicals, we will continue facing the challenge of how to contain their release,”.
The world is a fragile place and where possible, we should all be choosing products that we use throughout our day that won’t continue to pollute our already polluted planet. There are those among us who have even greater responsibility and you might be one of those.
So we ask that you look at Cold Fire®. Do your research and yes, look at other products. See countries besides our own who continue to ban toxic chemicals found in firefighting agents across the world, and that firefighters continue to suffer health problems with their use.
Choose wisely and with the future in mind. Remember, look for most if not all of the following;
100% Naturally Made, Non-Toxic, Non-Corrosive, Non-Stain, Non-Slip and 100% Biodegradable with the additional firefighting benefits of offering Rapid Cooling, Thermal Protection, Inerts Class B Fuels, Stops Class A burn-back, Removes Hydrocarbon Smoke and Heat Stress from firefighters and offers all this in a Single Multi-Classification firefighting Agent that can be used on Class A, B and D that reduces the amount of water used on every fire. Cold Fire® has them all and more.
We are always here to help, call for a chat on +44 (0) 1604 215 600.
Thank you from the Hydro Navitas team.