Protect Your Valuable Items from the Flames Using Viscosity and Water Retention!
FireShooter is a powder fire extinguishing agent which uses an edible thickening agent as its base. It is to be mixed with the water used in existing backpack-type water bags and portable pumps before use. The adhesiveness (which is unique to gel fire extinguishing agents) encases the combustibles and suppresses the spread of the fire by means of suffocation effect and a cooling effect. The water which is usually used for fire extinguishing has high fluidity and runs off if poured on slopes or trees, to be immediately sucked into dry. Therefore, the cooling effect of the water cannot be fully demonstrated. FireShooter water attaches to combustibles and continues to cool them downright there, allowing them to be extinguished with a smaller amount compared to a case in which water is used. The risk of recurrence is also lower (proven in experiments conducted by our company).
Additionally, because FireShooter water is not easily absorbed by dry land, it stays in the water discharge area over a long period, thus preventing the spread of the fire. In order to keep the surface moisturized even in case of trees or slopes, spray water on items which you want to protect beforehand to prevent the progress of the fire.
Fires may sometimes change direction suddenly, which is very dangerous. If the direction of the wind changed during firefighting activities in burning fields or forest fires and the flames moved towards you, to what extent would you be able stop the fire with water? Even if you were to spray water on forests or fields, it would immediately be sucked in the ground and would not stay in the place where you sprayed it. Any slightly moist shrubs would dry very quickly and burn. Water with Fire Shooter mixed into it has a higher viscosity, meaning that a puddle is created for a long time on the surface of the soil which has been sprayed with water, therein preventing the progression of the fire. Which is safer – the precious water brought in over a long distance by those conducting firefighting activities being sucked in and disappearing in an instant, or water which forms a puddle river on the surface of the ground? Fire Shooter instantly increases the viscosity of water, making it possible for all of the water to be used effectively to put out fires.
In Australia in February 2020, a bushfire which burned for half a year killed many animals, burning them and the forest which they lived in away. The damage from this extended across approximately 19 million hectares (about half of the size of Japan), with 3 billion wild animals suffering injuries. Approximately 61, 000 koalas died and many flora and fauna, such as kangaroos and wallabies, were facing danger of extinction. (From a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report). If we had been able to make a path using a puddle somewhere in the forest when the fire broke out, perhaps the progression of the fire could have been slowed, and they could have run away. Furthermore, if there was a puddle which they could have rubbed their burned bodies in, perhaps they could have cooled their bodies quickly. This was the thought process when we developed Fire Shooter. With Fire Shooter, it is difficult for the water which has been sprayed to be sucked into the ground, and it makes a puddle on the surface as is. It creates a river with the water which has been continuously discharged to stop the spread of the fire and allow animals a path with which to escape.
When a forest fire breaks out in an area which is far from a water source, firefighters carry 15-20 L of water on their backs as they enter the mountain and conduct fire extinguishing activities. Depending on the area, it may also take a few hours to climb the mountain, with heavy water digging into their shoulders and placing a burden on their backs. By adding FireShooter to their water bags, the viscosity of the water can be increased slightly, reducing the ‘water hammer’.
Water with FireShooter mixed in become more viscous and thus more difficult to absorb into the ground, so that users can use the precious water which they are carrying more effectively. FireShooter water which has been sprayed covers the burning object and smothers it to prevent the fire from breaking out again. Additionally, the treatment of the embers by the fire fighters involves searching for any hidden live coals, and they cannot return until they have completely extinguished the fire. If they are able to quickly confirm that the fire has been extinguished, then the fire fighters can return home quickly, lessening their physical labor.
In countries where there is a culture of mountain worship, important historical buildings are built in the middle of the forest. One a fire starts in a dry forest, there is a risk of it spreading all at once and swallowing up important buildings. If the wind is strong, forest fires can burn at speeds of up to 100 km or more. Even if you were to sprinkle water on a building, if the force of the fire was strong, it would be difficult to protect wooden structures, etc. In early-stage forest fires, the burned area expands as the fire burns flammable materials such as dry bark and fallen leaves. Water with Fire Shooter mixed in adheres to trees and leaves for long periods of time to prevent the progression of fires. Spray Fire Shooter water at trees from a distance where sparks do not fly into the building to prevent the trees around it from being burned.
This is the ‘paper pot’ effect which you often see at traditional Japanese inns. Paper pots scorched from below do not burn as the inside is filled with water. In bushfire, too, trees which have enough water stored within them only burn on the surface. If the surface is coated with Fire Shooter water, then not only will that tree not burn, but the fire will be weakened as a result of having nothing to turn. If the fire is in the early stages, it can be minimized with Fire Shooter water, allowing you to protect what you want to protect.
※Naturally, even Fire Shooter water cannot protect trees if the fire is too strong and it dries. However, ordinary water is sucked into the ground, making it hard for it to fulfil its role of preventing the spread of the fire, and it is easy for it to dry out as it does not stay on the surface of trees when sprayed on there. The number of places where there is a water source nearby and you can continue to spray water on the fire are limited. There is also a difference in the amount of time over which things can be protected with (valuable) regular water, which is sprayed and then absorbed, and Fire Shooter water, which collects in places where you want it to collect. If you can save time, then you can take the next steps and may be able to extinguish the fire in good time.
Fire Shooter is made mainly from edible thickeners. It is safe for animals to lick or eat it. If an animal gets caught up in a fire, we expect that they will be able to dampen their fur in the Fire Shooter puddle and that it may help to protect them from the fire so that they can run far away. Fire Shooter water which has been sprayed in a forest gradually evaporates or is absorbed into the ground. The dried residue breaks down within 2 weeks and is turned into soil, thus contributing to the regeneration of the burned forest.
Put Inside a Backpack-Type Fire Extinguishing Water Bag
Fire Shooter is packed so as to fit a 15 L water bag. First, dissolve it in water in a different water tank and then insert it into the water bag. It has been designed to easily dissolve in a current; however, if you stir the water as you add the Fire Shooter in, it will be evenly dispersed, and you can easily thicken the water immediately. Instead of putting water in a backpack-type fire extinguishing water bag, you can put in the Fire Shooter water and use that instead in the same way as conventional water.
Please refer to the fire extinguishing experiment video.
Spray with a Fire Pump
Portable pumps for use in firefighting can be applied to air-cooled engine pumps. They can also be used for water-cooled pumps wherein the water for fire extinguishing is not used to cool down the engine. Use the appropriate amount of Fire Shooter measured out for 1 ton of water. In past experiments, the Fire Shooter water did not disperse and was able to be concentrated on one place when sprayed, as compared to regular water. It was confirmed that the flight distance of the water increased by approximately 20%. FIRE SHOOTER forms a gel puddle where it is sprayed to collect and stay there for longer than water would, thus preventing the spread of fires.
In recent years, many large-scale forest fires have been breaking out. The forest fire which broke out in Indonesia’s Sumatra Island in August 2015 continued to burn until November, and the damage caused by the spread of the smoke extended so far that residents considered evacuating the entire island. Many native plants burned, and the fire even approached the habitant of the orangutans. In the September 2020 wildfire in Napa Valley, California in the US, around 30 wineries were swallowed up by fire. Many luxury residential areas are scattered about at various points on the West coast of the US, and huge losses have been reported due to wildfires breaking out. In Australia, a bushfire which continued to burn for half a year until February 2020 took the lives of many animals and burned an area equivalent to half of the area of Japan, burning away their habitants. Although forest fires occur every year, there is not much technical innovation in this area and the resulting damage from these is increasing year by year.
Immediately Gelling and Delivering Water for Firefighting to the Point of Fire
Large-scale forest fires are generally extinguished using water sprinkled from an aircraft; however, at high flight altitudes, the water disperses and disappears in the air. Likewise, fire extinguishing activities at low altitudes are also dangerous as the smoke collects, thus impairing visibility. Therefore, we developed the ‘Drop Control System’, a fire extinguishing system in which water for fire extinguishing is delivered from a safe high altitude and reaches the target point without dispersing. The system is comprised of the following 3 items.
1. Technology which delivers water to the ground without it dispersing
2. Technology which reliably drops water for fire extinguishing to the desired point.
3. Technology which sprays water all at once without missing the timing for the drop
In air-based fire extinguishing via helicopter, water is put into a fire extinguishing bucket which is suspended in the air, brought to the point of the fire, and sprayed from the sky. However, water disperses at high altitudes and does not reach the point of the fire. Therefore, Iluka College conceived of a plan wherein the water for fire extinguishing would be supplied in a gel pack and dropped in a solid state. This gel back can be stored in a dry state, and 1 g of the edible gelling agent absorbs approximately 100 g of water, gelling inside the back so that a gel pack-type fire extinguishing agent is created. The gel pack supplies water in 5 minutes in the aircraft and can deliver almost all of the water necessary to the site of the fire even from high altitudes. The gel pack bursts at the site of the drop, covering the combustible and allowing it to cool.
①The gelling agent is an edible polysaccharide thickener which is safe for animals to eat
②The pack is a soft, small lump which is safe even if it hits a person
③The pack materials biodegrade every few months, meaning that they are safe for Earth’s environment
④Work is easy and safe as the gel pack arbitrarily absorbs a large amount of water
⑤As it is a solid , it will not disperse even if dropped from a high altitude in a safe area
⑥As it is a solid, it is possible to calculate the drop point without missing it
⑦A gel puddle can be created at the drop point so as to prevent the spread of the fire
High-precision control system
In conventional fire-extinguishing, the water for fire extinguishing disperses, meaning that in the past, the point of the drop could not be controlled. Therefore, after flying to an approximate target area near the site of the fire, it was then up to the aviation crew to decide which direction to invade from and where to discharge the water. As the water for fire extinguishing which absorbed in the gel pack is solid, this makes it possible to control the drop point. With our high-precision control system, users can accurately deliver water for fire extinguishing water to the desired point from the sky. When the various conditions (such as wind direction, wind speed, aircraft speed, and altitude) are input to the control system installed on the tablet terminal, the falling motion is then analyzed. When the fire position information of the desired site of the drop is marked on the map, it simulates the flight path, begins counting down before it reaches the sky above the drop point in conjunction with GPS, and informs you of the drop position. It informs you of the drop point in the sky with a margin of error of 1 m or less. Additionally, since the system stores the point of the drop, it is possible to form a ‘fire spread prevention zone’ by means of continued drops.
If the the gel pack fire extinguishing agent is dropped in accordance with the high precision control system, it can be dropped exactly where the user wishes to drop it. This means that if the drop timing is delayed, the drop point will also shift. At the point where the high-precision control system announces the drop, the discharge port is opened immediately and a drop device that can drop the entire amount of the gel pack becomes necessary. The drop device has a large outlet. It is uniquely designed so that the entire amount can be released immediately without the gel pack becoming caught. The drop device can be folded and stored when not in use, making it convenient for storage and transportation. When loading the gel pack, the bucket may be loaded in an upright position. The photo shows a bucket for use with 1 ton, however, we are able to design it in accordance with your wishes.
*Depending on the type, we may be able to use buckets which you already own. Please contact us for more information.
We measured the field of dispersion at different altitudes with the cooperation of the Tottori Prefecture Eastern Wide Area Administrative Association and Tottori Prefecture Fire and Disaster Prevention Air Corps. According to this experiment, the higher the altitude, the wider the spray field (spray area), and the lower the altitude, the narrower the spray field (spray area) was. If the number of packs was constant, the density was inversely proportional to the field of dispersion. The higher the altitude was, the larger the reach area, but the lower the density of the gel pack which was to be sprayed. If the drop altitude was high, it was effective to either pack a lot of gel packs or drop them in the same position. The amount which could be dropped at one time depended on the payload of the aircraft, as well as the specified amount of the suspended buckets.
Reliably delivering gelled fire extinguisher to the point of fire
Packs were dropped at varying altitudes with the helicopter in a hovering state (stationary in the air).
Gel packs were dropped twice from 100 ft, 200 ft, and 300 ft above the ground, and the area of the point of arrival was then measured. The gel pack reliably reached the target even at high altitudes and covered the ground with gel. In comparison, regular water was sprayed from an altitude of 200 ft, however; the water scattered and no trace of water remained on the ground.
Each target was made in the shape of a circle with a 10 m diameter.
The spraying field where 3,000 gel packs were dropped in 500 liters of water was as follows.
Field of dispersion when dropped from 100 ft was approximately 50㎡
Field of dispersion when dropped from 200 ft was approximately 100㎡
Field of dispersion when dropped from 300 ft was approximately 150㎡
Dropping gel packs while moving
With the cooperation of the Nagano Prefecture Fire and Disaster Prevention Air Corps, we dropped the gel packs while moving and measured the scope and position of the drop.
4,000 gel packs and 600 liters of water were placed into a drop bucket, and the entire amount was dropped at the target point according to the instructions of the control system while moving at an altitude of 100 feet above ground level and a ground speed of 25 knots. The puck was dropped exactly at the target point, and a fire spread prevention zone was created within a range of 25 m in length. Water was dropped under the same conditions; however, it immediately scattered in the sky and did not leave any trace when it arrived on the ground. By increasing the amount of large fire extinguishing buckets and gel packs dropped according to the scale of the fire, the density of the fire spread prevention zone could be increased. Users could also increase the length by increasing the ground speed.
By allowing the limited amount of water for fire extinguishing which can be carried by an aircraft to reach the ground within a certain range, it is possible to reliably contribute to extinguishing the fire. Water for fire extinguishing which has been absorbed once by the gel pack is not immediately absorbed into the ground and stays in the same spot, meaning that it is possible to create a fire spread prevention zone by connecting and dropping this water. A single dropped gel pack is only a single point for a large forest fire, but if the points are continuous, then these form lines and can enclose the fire. This system was adopted and developed by the Fire and Disaster Management Agency's Fire and Disaster Management Science and Technology Promotion System over four years from 2013 with Tottori University as the research representative.
Please contact us for details on past experiment results.