Tag Archives: Wildfires

Can ‘Forever Chemicals’ be Destroyed?

Fire Attack Systems Effective & Environmentally Friendly Fire Fighting Chemicals, Foams, Powders & Foam Inducers

Forever chemicalsWhen it comes to long term toxicity, forever chemicals [PFAS] are in the same category as lead, which is why the discovery of a new process of elimination is turning heads. The process causes certain PFAS to fall apart, resulting in benign end products. PFAS are a range of chemicals that have been in use since the 1940s, and are very difficult to get rid of. They cannot be eaten by bacteria, incinerated with fire or diluted by water. Even if buried underground they will leach into the soil, creating problems for future generations.

Now, Northwestern University chemists have done what seemed impossible, and developed a method of dispensing with PFAS. The method uses common reagents that work in low temperatures and are inexpensive. A simple technique which causes two of the major classes of PFAS compounds to fall apart. The process results in harmless end products with no risk to humans, animals or the environment.

Even the tiniest amount of PFAS exposure can have negative health effects, and as the chemical does not break down, a solution is definitely needed. The research team found a weakness in the PFAS compounds that could be its downfall. PFAS contains a long tail of unyielding carbon-fluorine bonds, at one end of the molecule, there is a charged group that frequently contains charged oxygen atoms. This head group was heated in dimethyl sulfoxide with common reagent sodium hydroxide. The process decapitated the head group, leaving behind a reactive tail.

This caused a cluster of reactions, including spitting out fluorine atoms to form fluoride, which is the safest form of fluorine. The discovery has enabled a deeper understanding of PFAS and opened up ways to tackle it. Although this is an exciting breakthrough, it deals with a limited number of compounds and there are more than 12,000 others.


Wildfires, Petrochemical Fires & Nuclear Fires, Professional Range of Fire Extinguishers, Wetting Agents & Accessories





Take a Proactive Approach to Fire Safety

Fire Attack Systems Effective & Environmentally Friendly Fire Fighting Chemicals, Foams, Powders & Foam Inducers

BatteriesDuring the warmer months there is always an increased risk of fire in many areas, including waste and recycling plants. This is due to the presence of things like batteries in waste, vehicles and machinery. Batteries are found more often in waste streams these days, as they are frequently included in children’s toys and mobile phones. In fact they are now more prevalent than ever and come in a variety of sizes, shapes and specifications.

Thermal runaway is a risk where batteries are concerned, causing the battery to overheat and pose a fire risk. Excess heat is generated when batteries fail, malfunction, become damaged, are overcharged or have too much voltage. They can then combust and emit toxic gases or sometimes cause explosions. When fires on waste sites have been looked into, it has become obvious that batteries are not being disposed of in the correct way. They are frequently being thrown into the general waste as opposed to being recycled.

This is a volatile situation as batteries are then often damaged by machinery and surrounded by combustible materials. Batteries ending up at general waste facilities is becoming a major headache for managers etc. Operational downtime due to fire can cripple a waste or recycling business. Even if it’s a minor fire, equipment etc may be damaged, and usually the site must be closed while investigations and risk assessments take place.

There was a fire of this type at a recycling site in the UK in 2021, as a result of a battery being present. A lack of fire protection at the site meant that the fire was able to spread quickly leading to whole-site loss. The facility had to be completely rebuilt, costing several million euros. There was also the cost of operational downtime, reputational damage and any fines or sanctions enforced by the Environment Agency (EA). A simple fire protection system could have averted the situation for a fraction of the expense.


Wildfires, Petrochemical Fires & Nuclear Fires, Professional Range of Fire Extinguishers, Wetting Agents & Accessories



Tackling Wildfires in the UK

Fire Attack Systems Effective & Environmentally Friendly Fire Fighting Chemicals, Foams, Powders & Foam Inducers

Fire Attack SystemsMany locations across the US experience catastrophic wildfires, which devastate the land, animal life and those living in the area. Wildfires are also a big problem throughout the rest of the world including the UK. Veteran firefighter Shaun Walton has written a piece for the International Association of Wildland Fire, on his 30 years as a firefighter. The fascinating article talks about the difficulties of tackling fire many years ago without the advanced technology used today. Working in and around Greater Manchester, a varied knowledge of different types of fire was required. This is because the environment consisted of densely populated residential, commercial and industrial areas surrounded by large expanses of environmentally protected rural moorland.

Shaun, completed his training with Greater Manchester County Fire & Rescue Service (FRS) in North West England. In three decades, he has seen an increase in the scale and frequency of wildfires in the UK, and expects the situation to get worse. He believes the key to reducing these instances, lies in studying local, national and international wildfire solutions. A level of success in fire prevention has been gained globally by looking at fire weather prediction systems, pro-active prescribed burning and joint operational response.

The descriptive terms have changed over the years in line with the increased severity and destruction of wildfires too. Once widely labelled ‘moorland, forest or grass fires’, these fires are now known in the UK as wildfires or wildland fires. In those earlier years things were made more difficult by a lack of IT communication, as there was no access to mobiles, internet etc. The pooling of knowledge between services and sharing information about fire behaviour in recent years has been very effective.

The introduction of ground breaking products such as Fire Attack Systems [FAS], manufactured by specialists ABC Macintosh have also had a great impact. These environmentally friendly systems deliver high pressure foam and water for an exceptional solution. Read more about these systems here.



Wildfires, Petrochemical Fires & Nuclear Fires, Professional Range of Fire Extinguishers & Wetting Agents



Advanced Environmentally Friendly Fire Attack Systems

Fire Attack Systems Effective & Environmentally Friendly Fire Fighting Chemicals, Foams, Powders & Foam Inducers


Fire Attack SystemsAdvances in fire fighting technology are surpassing all expectations, and smart technologies and ground breaking chemicals are increasingly appearing. Even just a decade ago, artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles and mixed reality could not have been imagined. Other innovations are also being introduced, such as big data, facial recognition, biotelemetry, 360 video and the use of gaming technology. These developments are helping to streamline planning and methods, which lessen the chance or effects of fire for all concerned.

Water Droplet Reduction

Our associate company 3F report an amazing response to our FAS Fire Attack System, which offers fast and efficient fire extinction. It features a High Pressure output of 100 – 200 bars, significantly reducing the size of water droplets. This means that less water is required to successfully get the job done. A car fire for instance would only take 60 litres of water to extinguish with this system, as opposed to 800 litres of traditional spraying.

FAS is ready to use out of the box, needing no assembly or tools, and just a 200 to 400 litre tank guarantees an operating time of around 20 minutes. The equipment can be easily transported and used in mobile intervention vehicles such as pick-up trucks, motorcycles, quads and fire trucks. These machines are simplicity itself to use too, including swift change over of the various lances supplied.

Environmentally Friendly Products

F.A.S. is designed and manufactured to the most stringent standards with regards effectiveness, waste, cost and importantly environmental impact! Along with a significant reduction in water consumption, the widespread introduction of solvent free foams is a priority. Less pollution and damage to the surrounding area when tackling devastating fires, is an extremely positive step. To find out more about FAS take a look at the 3F website.


 Wildfires, Petrochemical Fires & Nuclear Fires, Professional Range of Fire Extinguishers, Wetting Agents & Accessories