Biloxi firefighters test a new firefighting tool

Biloxi firefighters are testing a new tool that may help fight fires more efficiently.

F-500 Encapsulator Agent, a liquid that is blended with water running through a fire hose, cools the fire and surrounding structures six to 10 times quicker than with plain water, which offers multiple benefits.

“It has the ability, if applied in the proper manor, to greatly increase the survivability of victims trapped in a fire as it can quickly reduce the heat and combustion products of fire,” said Fire Chief Joe Boney.

“This chemical breaks down the molecular structure of the fire to where you’re using less water,” Firefighter Wes Small said during a demonstration this week in a parking lot at Mercy Cross Recreation Center, off Crusaders Street.

Firefighters set up a side-by-side demonstration in which they set afire two piles of debris and then extinguished them, one with only water and the other with water containing F-500 EA.

Which pile was extinguished first? The one that was doused with the water and F-500 mixture. The reduced heat also allowed firefighters to touch the surface of the debris minutes after it was extinguished.

“Extinguishing fire quicker equates to less time a firefighter is exposed to a toxic atmosphere, which reduces the wear and tear on our No. 1 asset, the firefighter,” Boney said. “It also means less property damage, and in many cases can greatly assist fire investigators determine a fire’s origin because damage to the burn area has been reduced.”

The department has a minimal amount of the product on hand if needed in the field and is currently in the final testing stages.
See pictures from the demonstration