Thursday, October 21, 2010

NovaCool Extinguishes Magnesium (Class D) Fires

NovaCool UEF (Universal Extinguishing Foam) is ideally suited for putting out car fires. NovaCool does extinguish Class D Fires - the ones involving metals that burn, such as magnesium, found in many car engines or blocks. Magnesium, in particular, spatters like crazy when hit with water.  Think about a road flare.  They are powered by magnesium.  If  you've ever watched one of them burn, you get the idea of how hot they burn and how they can sputter or splatter.
Here is a video provided by Flame Management International under whom we operate.

To learn more, please visit our website at SW Fire Fighting Foam & Equipment

Monday, June 28, 2010

Reasons for having a First Line of Defense

I became an authorized re-seller/dealer of Novacool UEF and foam fire fighting equipment after I witnessed the effectiveness of the hose adapted sprayer first hand.  I thought, wow!  Since this was something I knew that I wanted I purchased several bottles immediately upon hearing about this product several years ago from a friend of mine who is the president of the Master Distributor company.  I figured most everyone else who lives like we do would want some too.  In fact, that belief has been re-enforced by all the folks who I've told about this product who said they wanted some as well.
Now that I'm a distributor, I sometimes wonder if people think I'm trying to sell fear?  Fear of fire, fear of losing their personal property and maybe even their lives.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  What I am selling is peace of mind - knowing that in the event of a fire, one has the possibility of being able to defend themselves against the ravages of fire.  I know that's what I get from having a supply on hand.
When I see pictures on the news of firestorms heading towards a housing development or a lone house out in the woods, I always imagine what it must be like to own one of those homes and see this violent force of nature coming down on you.  Without some kind of plan of action, it must be a horrible feeling knowing that your only choice is to flee the scene before you are engulfed by the advancing flames.  I'm pretty confident in the belief that you have worked as hard as I have, in your own way, to own your own home, vehicles and other personal property that stands to be wiped out in a matter of minutes by wild fire.  In my case, I built my home with my own hands over the course of several years and lots and lots of hard work, blood, sweat and the occasional tear.  Even if you didn't build your home personally with your own hands, you built it with the same hard work dedicated to a job or enterprise that allowed you to hire someone else to build it.
Notice that I use the word "home" and not house, because what we live in is a home and all the sentimental feelings that that word conjures up.  A house belongs to some one else, a structure to which we have no emotional connection.
Sure, your house can be re-built with insurance money after the firestorm has passed.  But what about all the memories and events that made that house your home?  Wiped out in an instant...  and you might even build an even nicer house, adding amenities that you wished you had the first time around.  I grew up in the building business and know that if my home were wiped out I could re-build and hopefully have just as nice a home as we enjoy now but it would never be the same.
I bring this up because it just might be my nature to take a pro-active stance in the face of adversity.  An example would be when just a few years ago we had an ongoing attack from bark beetle on our Piñon pine trees.  As soon as we lost our first magnificent Piñon out in back of our house, I was on the line with our county extension agent and several nurseries to find out what the consensus on saving the trees was.  I had seen an area on the way from town to our place that was being decimated but until that time our area hadn't been affected.  My subsequent research found a much better product than what was being recommend locally and we started buying that and spraying our property.  Bark beetles, like fire, is an act of nature but that didn't mean we had to stand by and let them wipe out our property.  I spent something like the next 5 years spraying our entire 10 acres as I watched many of our neighbors lose hundreds of trees.  Out of a couple thousand Piñons I'm happy to say that we lost maybe 10 trees.  Our pro-active approach helped us to win the battle.
The bark beetle epidemic was like a slow moving fire.  We had a chance to do something about it and so did our neighbors.  It was interesting to see how few of them took the pro-active stance that we took and resigned themselves to the loss of their beautiful trees.  These are the same folks who will have to stand by and watch their homes go up in flames if we are ever unfortunate enough to have a wild fire sweep through here.
There's no saying that we would even be here if a wild fire came through, but if we are, we will at least know that we have a fighting chance to save that which we have worked so hard for.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Volunteer Fire Departments

As I was writing about our local property owners' association meeting, I thought about the Volunteer Fire Fighting Force that we are fortunate enough to have in our area.  I did a quick google search on the Hondo Volunteer Fire Dept. and found an article on the Santa Fe County website that gives a brief history on the Dept.  This fire department started in 1974 out of necessity.  The residents were scattered around the foothills and were too far away for the City of Santa Fe to provide service, so a bunch of people from various homeowners' associations cobbled together some old fire fighting equipment that would be on demand for locals needing help.  
I remember the early days of this fire department but not the exact beginning because I didn't come onto the scene until 1978 when I moved to Santa Fe and started the first professional chimney sweeping service in the area.  Hondo was already in existence and I didn't understand that they really were in their infancy.  Today, we are privileged to have an outstanding network of fire departments in our area with a brand new regional fire house just 2 miles from our home.  
I laughed to myself when I read this history.  Last night after the property owners' meeting at the fire house, I went to visit with a group of friends.  One of the guys there and I started talking about Novacool and how great it is to have this available to us.  This friend of mine is a collector of old cars and trucks and more things than I have time to go into.  His eyes lit up and he told me that he had a couple of 200 gallon poly tanks at his place and that by golly, he could put those on his old truck (well, at 200 gallons, he could at least put on one...!) and rig up a gasoline powered pump to pump the water out and use the NovaCool.  It would just sit there until one of the neighbors or the neighborhood needed help putting out a fire.  The funny thing is that he jumped to that conclusion before I had said anything about offering a complete line of sprayers to do just that and his reaction is the same as that that gave birth to the Hondo Fire Dept.  Concern for one's neighbors and knowing that you can be of help if needed. It's a great spirit that these volunteers bring to their community and one that I appreciate, fully.  Being equipped to protect our own property empowers me to know that if needed, I can help my neighbors in a big way by having my own mini-fire department.  And my buddy immediately grasped the idea that he could turn his water storage tanks into something really useful in his neighborhood.  
Here's to Volunteer Fire Departments across America!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Property Owners Association Meeting

Our local area property owners association held our annual meeting at the local fire station last night.  One of the speakers was the local Fire Fighter Captain Tom Chilton who started off by reading a list of all the fires that had occurred since March of this year in the state of New Mexico.  The list was surprisingly long for this time of year and he seemed to think that this is about normal for the first half of the year.
We had a very wet winter this year that has caused an abundance of wild flowers and grasses. So far this spring it's been dry and windy, potentially providing more fuel once they've dried out, but they sure are pretty!
At one point during our meeting, we were drowned out by the sound of an internal alarm and the voice of the dispatcher alerting our network of firehouses to a grass fire that was burning out of control not too far from where we were. Just another reminder that fire is the force of nature that we are at most effect of in our area just as with the rest of the Southwest.  We don't get tornadoes (occasionally one pops up out on the plains) and we don't get hurricanes and flooding like what occurs in other parts of the country.  Fire is the force we reckon with it, just a fact of life that we need to prepare ourselves for.
After the firechief had finished, I announced that I had launched this business to provide foam and foam products to homeowners so that they could have access to the same protection that the fire departments use on their trucks to put out fires - only now they have access to the premier fire fighting foam on the market!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I have lived in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Northern New Mexico for over 32 years. We are only minutes from town. We love living in the forest. It's very private and provides us a quality of life that ideally suits us.
We are part of an ever growing movement of people migrating from the cities into this Wildland-Urban Interface area. What we lack in conveniences are more than made up for by being able to look out and see deer, bears, coyotes, fox and more. If I want to have a camp fire, I have one! I say that because not being able to do just that one simple act is one of the reasons I left my home state of Ohio when I graduated high school. I have always craved the independance that living in the country has granted me.
Living in the Wildland-Urban Interface also has its challenges, chief among them being the threat of forest fire. In the southwest and much of the western states, the force of nature that most threatens many of us is fire.
Just in our small, low density neighbord, we've had the following fires:
  • We had an old truck burst into flames sitting under a pinon tree during the worst drought I've experienced.
  • A neighbor burned his house down by not observing the proper clearances on his woodstove.
  • An elderly woman burned her house down by stacking endless piles of newspaper in her living room right up to her fireplace
  • Another neighbor lost a trailer to fire from a gas leak
  •  The guy next to him lost his trailer from fire as well.
  • Another neighbor, just 1/4 of a mile away, was burning trash without a water hose nearby. The fire started to spread up into the Ponderosa Pines, out of control. If not for the fast actions of his closest neighbor who was able to put the fire out with a garden hose, the results could have been catastrophic, as could have each of the incidents, above.
All of these fires occured within no more than a 2 mile radius! Fortunately, none of these fires spread into the woods, but they could have, easily...  Being able to provide a First Defense in the event of a wildfire is essential for the possibility of being able to save our home and property.  To do so in an environmentally friendly way is even better!
Putting out our truck fire in a matter of seconds was a real eye-opener.  What a blessing it was to have a supply of Baum's NovaCool UEF on hand...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New York Times- In Fighting Wildfires, Concerns About Chemicals

This article in the November 15, 2008 New York Times underscores the importance of the NovaCool brand wetting agent. NovaCool has proven itself in the lab, the field and numerous testing grounds to be an environmentally sound solution to the hazardous chemicals that are currently being used to fight wild fires and that cause tremendous harm to wildlife and the environment. We believe that the chemicals presently being used are due to political pressure and without regard to the long term consequences.
You can read the New York Times article.