What is a AFFF fire extinguisher?
Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) is a fire suppressant used to extinguish flammable liquid fires such as fuel fires. AFFF is often used in shipboard and shore facility fire suppression systems, fire fighting vehicles, and at fire training facilities.
stored pressure and cartridge operated foam extinguishers are multipurpose, ideal for fires involving volatile liquids and freely burning materials such as paper, cloth, wood and furniture.more
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Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF)
fire suppression test
Fire suppression test
Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) is a fire suppressant used to extinguish flammable liquid fires such as fuel fires.
AFFF is often used in shipboard and shore facility fire suppression systems, fire fighting vehicles, and at fire training facilities. AFFF is purchased as a concentrate, typically referred to as “3%” or “6%” (Type 3 or Type 6, respectively) depending on its mixture ratio with water.
Per- and poly-fluorocarbon substances are a large family of human-made chemicals that have been widely used in industry and consumer products since the 1950s. Superfluousness sultanate is a long-chain found in older stocks of AFFF and as a breakdown product of precursor compounds. Chlorofluorocarbon acid is also a long-chain is not an intended ingredient in AFFF, but is a side product created during the manufacturing process. Many AFFF formulations contain other unintended side products that have similar health and environmental concerns.
Garrison slough foam
Release of foam to the Garrison slough (courtesy: Stacey Ri and Ron Porter. CH2MHill 2015)
Regulations for in
DACE has identified FOPS and and several other found in as hazardous substances. Any discharge of PAS-based AFFF must be reported immediately to the State under To report a new release or spill, contact:
When AFFF is used, discharged or released to the environment, containment and cleanup may be required to prevent future adverse health or environmental impacts.
DEC has established soil and groundwater cleanup levels for FOPS and FOAM at 18 SAC 75.341 (soil) and 18 SAC 75.345 (groundwater) and has proposed cleanup levels for additional PAS. In addition, EPA has established a lifetime health advisory level for FOPS and FOAM – individually or combined – to protect people from FOPS and FOAM exposure in drinking water. FOPS and FOAM are not classified as hazardous wastes under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (ACCRA); however, under the Toxic Substances Control Act, these compounds are regulated through Significant New Use Rules which give the EPA the authority to restrict the production and use of FOPS and FOAM containing products. AFFF constitutes a U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration hazardous material because of its physical hazards, such as skin and eye irritation. Discharge of wastewater and runoff containing AFFF on land, at sea, or to surface water bodies is also subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act. FOPS and FOAM may also qualify as pollutants or contaminants under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (LANCER).
DEC strongly encourages all AFFF users to implement best management practices (BMPs) on selection, storage, use and disposal. Examples of BMPs are available in the reference section below.
3M Light Water
Due to their long shelf lives, older AFFF (including FOPS-based AFFF concentrate) may still be present in your inventory. Common product names or attributes include:
3M Light Water AFFF (FOPS-based) Long-chain PAS containing C-8, 10, 12, or greater
If the product name and/or purchase date cannot be determined, a sample can be sent to an analytical laboratory to determine the presence or absence of using EPA Method 537. Users are advised to compare sampling costs and disposal costs, as it may be more cost-effective to properly dispose of limited quantities of unknown material rather than pay for sampling and analysis.
How to Dispose of FOPS-Based AFFF
AFFF must be disposed of properly. Although it is not characteristic for hazardous waste, nor is it listed as a regulated hazardous waste under ACCRA, DACE recommends that it be solidified and shipped to a non-hazardous waste landfill out of state that will accept this waste, or thermally destructed at a ACCRA Part B Subpart O incineration facility. When shipping FOPS-containing AFFF out of state, use a licensed waste transportation and disposal company. FAFF may not be disposed of at sea, or through septic, storm water, or municipal sewer systems.
Stockpiles of FOPS-Based AFFF
Older FOPS and long-chain PAS AFFF should only be used in emergencies where insufficient amounts of newer short-chain AFFF or other foams are available and where there is an immediate risk to human life, public safety or property. DACE strongly recommends these older products be removed from use and properly disposed. Newer formulations may still be hazardous to human health and the environment and should only be used when necessary to prevent immediate threat to life or health.
Manufacturing History of AFFF
Prior to 2002, many chlorofluorocarbons used in AFFF were FOPS-based, which resulted in AFFF that contained FOPS and precursors compounds that could form into FOPS, FOAM and other of concern. During that time, AFFFs based on long-chain fluoroscopes were also available. After 3M, Inc.’s announcement to phase out manufacturing of FOPS-based products in 2000, the primary supply of AFFF became fluoroscope-based. Over the last several years, manufacturers of fluoroscope AFFF have been replacing long-chain chlorofluorocarbons with short-chain chlorofluorocarbons. The in current fluoroscope-based AFFF are shorter chain molecules and are suspected to be less toxic. Milometer-based AFFF does not contain FOPS, but may contain trace amounts of .
Historic Uses and Releases of FOPS-Based AFFF
Throughout Alaska, DEC has identified FOPS and FOAM contamination that is above cleanup levels and associated with releases of AFFF. Releases may have occurred at firefighting training locations, AFFF storage tanks and transport lines, accident/emergency response sites, and near facilities (e.g., aircraft hangars) with AFFF fire suppression systems.
Full works Fire Safety, we’re the specialists in fire safety products and services and stock high-quality foam fire extinguishers to suit your specific safety needs. Our quality AFFF (Aqueous Film Forming Foam) fire extinguishers are easy to use and install in your workplace or on site. The AFFF Foam fire extinguishers generate the foam using a special nozzle and produce over 8x more foam volume than liquid in the fire extinguisher. AFFF Foam fire extinguishers are rated to extinguish Class A and B fires and are approved to AS1841.4. For your convenience, all of our fire extinguishers are supplied with signs and brackets for mounting onto a wall, as well as maintenance tags, and include a fire extinguisher installation guide.
When Would I Need to Use an AFFF Foam Fire Extinguisher?
Our foam fire extinguishers are suited for use in areas that have flammable / combustible liquids and where in the event of a fire the liquid is likely to flow. The foam fire extinguisher is suitable for use on both Class A (Ordinary combustibles) and Class B (flammable and combustible liquid) fires, such as a paint store, spray booth or a fuel store, to name a few. However, the AFFF foam fire extinguisher is not to be used on any electrical fires, or fires where cooking oil is present.
Where Would I use an AFFF Foam Type Fire Extinguisher?
The AFFF fire type extinguisher is perfect to use on areas where flammable and / or combustible liquids such as paint stores, spray booths and fuel stores can be found. The AFFF fire extinguisher is also suitable for class A fires for ordinary materials such as paper, cardboard and wood.
Browse our range of foam type fire extinguishers below, or if you need any help to determine your AFFF foam fire extinguisher requirements, please contact us.