Firefighter Training, Firefighting, Structural Firefighting

Compressed Air Foam and Structural Firefighting Research

Issue 7 and Volume 166.

BY CHRISTOPHER A. DICUS, THOMAS KORMAN, CASEY GRANT, STEVE LOHR, DAN MADRZYKOWSKI, FRED MOWRER, CHRIS PASCUAL, AND DAN TURNER A new study, funded by the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grants, is investigating the effectiveness, limitations, and potential safety concerns of compressed air foam systems (CAFS) for structural firefighting. CAFS use a designated mixture of water, Class A foam, and compressed air that is applied through a hose and nozzle to control a fire (photo 1). CAFS were originally used for wildland firefighting in the early 1970s and then later gained popularity for fighting structural fires because of their many purported benefits, which included faster knockdown time, rapid heat reduction, lowered potential for flare-ups, and reduced water use. (1) When CAF is applied on a vertical surface, it can adhere to it for an extended time. (Photo by D. Madrzykowski.) Although used in various fire districts throughout the…

Subscribe to unlock this content

Subscribe Now