Be Sure Hose Used On Cafs Systems Is Designed And Safe For Such Use
Chapter 10 of NAPA 1906, Standard for Wildland Fire Apparatus, contains requirements for CAFS systems* installed on wildland fire apparatus. However, chapter 10 does not address performance and safety considerations for an integral part of a CAFS system - the means to apply the foam, which is usually accomplished by means of a hose. There is no reference to or guidance on the use of hose that is suitable to carry an air/foam mixture under pressure.
Standard commercial fire hose carried on apparatus is not designed to transport air and may react violently under such use conditions.
FEMA has urged the NFPA Technical Committee on Fire Department Apparatus to provide guidance on the use of hose that is suitable and safe for use on a CAFS system. At a minimum, the standard should state that: No hose shall be used on a CAFS system unless such use is recommended by the manufacturer of the system and the hose manufacturer and the hose is so marked for such use in a conspicuous manner. In the interim, FEMA has issued this Technical Bulletin to alert interested persons of this situation.
FEMA strongly recommends that no hose be used on a CAFS system unless such use is recommended by the manufacturer of the system and the hose manufacturer. Use of non-approved hose can be dangerous and may cause a hose or coupling failure, producing property damage, bodily injury, or death. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and instructions on proper use and maintenance.
* A CAFS system is a compressed air foam system that combines air under pressure with a foam solution to create foam in the hose or mixing chamber. A CAFS system consists of an air source, a water pump, a means to apply the foam, and a source of foam solution.