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Feel free to use this topic to ask questions and discuss the use of wetting agents in the fire service.

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Why is the fire service so afraid to explore the use of wetting agents? I have been involved in using these agents for several years. The agent that our department utilizes makes a definite difference in extiguishment time, amount of water utilized and amount of physical overhaul. I have been involved in lab testing that clearly shows the agent we are using provides total extinguishment where plain water doesn't. I would love to hear pro and con feedback from others.

I have a hard time understanding why departments won't use these products when they make our jobs so much safer than plain water!!
The bad part about it is if you mix two agents together you make a huge mess of the pump , hoses.We ran into this problem a few times using an wetting agent on our tanker and the brush miexd foam by accident and the mess is on .
The agent that we are using hasn't caused this problem. It pours like water and does not booger up like some agents I have seen. I have premixed our cans with AFFF and wetting agent with no problems.

One thing I don't like about NFPA 18 is that the standard doesn't seperate the good agents from the bad. I know from my research (being able to acquire a few different UL NFPA 18 test results) that all wetting agents are not created equal. I even went to battle with UL about releasing the test results due to the difference in performance from agent to agent (some agents extinguished the Class B fire in 5 minutes, some extinguished their fire in 15 minutes). These agents are both certified to the same standard although they perform very differently. My agruement with UL was that this data is vital to us in the field. I was told that the data belonged to the manufacturer and they were the only ones that could release the information. I would be concerned if my agent was the one tha took 15 minutes to complete the test and I didn't know it. This area is one that the 2006 version of NFPA 18 set out to change. The major problem with the newer NFPA 18 is that several of the listed wetting agents weren't able to pass the new test standards. There has been a long delay by UL in getting the agents certified to the 2006 standard.

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