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by the NFCC

Control measure


Control measure knowledge

Using foam may have an environmental benefit as fires can be quickly extinguished and fire water run-off is reduced. Consider, too, the type of foam. For example, compressed air foam systems (CAFS) will usually need less concentrate and water to produce adequate foam for fighting. The reduced levels of concentrate and run-off produced are likely to result in run-off being easier to contain, and if it does enter a water body it will have less of an impact.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Identify where alternative methods of extinguishing fire should be considered within a foam strategy
  • When procuring foam concentrate, identify the environmental impact and adjust procedures accordingly

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Where foam has been applied and there is a significant risk to the environment, evaluate:

    • Alternative types of foam (if available)
    • Using a different extinguishing media
    • High-pressure water fogging systems (if available)
    • Adopting a controlled burn strategy. See Controlled burn