Sunday, April 17, 2011

This tool should be on every water tender A.C.E. 3 in 1 Pro

The 3 in 1 Pro waterworks tool blog - Open in-ground valve covers, and use the extending telescoping valve key to turn off water mains, hydrants, and any other misc. air, water, gas valves. Includes 2" box main key, 2 prong wheel handle key, water meter "U" key. Contractors, Public agency and first responders rely on the Three in One Pro Water Works tool.

3 in 1 Pro water meter key "U" Shape - water meter key

Picture of the 3 in 1 Pro water meter key "U" Shape - For use with the 3 in 1 Pro waterworks tool extending telescoping valve key to control water meter valves, curb stops, gas meter valves and other tamper resistant valve stems.Picture of the 3 in 1 Pro water meter key Three in One Pro water meter key attachment

Picture of the 3 in 1 Pro water main key "2" Box Shape - For use with the 3 in 1 Pro waterworks tool extending telescoping valve key to control water main valves, gas main valves and other tamper resistant valve stems with a "2" square Shape.Picture of the 3 in 1 Pro water main key 3 in 1 Pro water main key "2" Box Shape

Close up of the "Ace Pro 3 in 1" in-ground Valve cover lifting tool hook
pro_ hook 3 in 1 in-ground valve covers with the Lazer cut custom cover lift toolOpen in-ground valve covers with the 3 in 1 Pro valve cover factory laser cut hook 

Picture of the 3 in 1 Pro water valve key - Fork Shape - For use with the 3 in 1 Pro waterworks tool extending telescoping tool to control water handle valves, gas handle valves, curb stops, and other valves with wheel handles.
Picture of the 3 in 1 Pro curb box forked wheel handle key 

Friday, March 14, 2008

Fire foam contaminates water supply

Fire trucks' water pressure overwhelmed the city's drinking supply lines and pushed fire-suppression foam into them as firefighters tried to extinguish a burning Strip District warehouse, Pittsburgh's director of public safety said Wednesday.

Two pumper trucks were connected to fire hydrants for a long time Tuesday afternoon, said Public Safety Director Mike Huss, and as the pressure built up in the truck lines, it overwhelmed the drinking water lines' force.

"It's highly unusual, and we're surprised that it did it," Huss said.

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority advised people Downtown and in the Strip District not to use water for a few hours into yesterday morning, until the foam could be flushed from the system.

Ingesting less than an ounce of the biodegradable foam wouldn't pose a health threat, but it can irritate skin and eyes, said Bob Hutton, a project coordinator for the authority. Callers began complaining about soapy-looking water Tuesday afternoon.

Firefighters allowed the four-alarm fire, which started Tuesday morning in the former Otto Milk Co. complex at 25th and Smallman streets, to burn overnight because of difficulties extinguishing it in cork- and foam-insulated walls. The building continued smoldering yesterday.

Fire Chief Darryl Jones said he had not seen the foam problem in the 20 years he has fought fires.

"We are going to make some adjustments to make sure it doesn't happen again," he said.

The fire apparently started when a construction crew's cutting torch ignited insulation in the building, the construction crew manager said. The building's owner, Jack Benoff, was gutting the building and plans to convert it to condominiums.

Source: Full story and updates at:

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Firefighters say Gel Works, But Don't Expect Rush to Stockpile It

Firefighters say Gel Works

Firefighters say Gel Works, But Don't Expect Rush to Stockpile It

October 13th, 2007 @ 1:25pm

by Associated Press

TUCSON, Ariz. - Wildland firefighters are generally encouraged at the prospect of another tool to keep houses tucked in forest settings from burning: a sticky goop, or gel, that holds many times its weight in water.

But they don't expect to see an immediate rush among Arizona's municipal fire departments in the so-called urban-wildland interface to stockpile the stuff.

``I think it's a valuable product,'' said Paul Summerfelt, field management officer for the Flagstaff Fire Department. ``It's very effective. There's no question about its effectiveness.''

The gel is an absorbent polymer capable of retaining moisture for several hours, and can be sprayed on structures like homes or cabins from a truck, garden hose, backpack or even from an airplane.

It will adhere to vertical surfaces and - depending on the mix - can have a building-sticking consistency almost like petroleum jelly.

Its effectiveness has been shown on houses and structures in forest fires in such locations as South Dakota's Black Hills National Forest, Colorado's Mesa Verde National Park and in California.

At least a half-dozen gel products approved after testing by the U.S. Forest Service's Missoula Technology and Development Center in Montana are being sold commercially.

Since 2002, wildfires have destroyed more than 800 Arizona homes. The Rodeo-Chediski fire, the largest wildfire in Arizona history, burned 491 homes that year; the Aspen fire the next year destroyed some 320 cabins and homes on Mount Lemmon in southern Arizona, and in 2005, 11 homes were lost in Camp Creek, north of Cave Creek.

Firefighting gel ``has a place in wildland fire protection, but I think also this is a key component: if homeowners did work around their house before the fire, they wouldn't have to use gel or foam or any other products,'' Summerfelt said. ``It may give a false sense of security to property owners that that's all that they have to do.

``If you have to use that on their homes, the appropriate work was not done before the fire'' to clear out vegetation and debris.

``I believe it (gel) probably will be used more in the future,'' said Dugger Hughes, wildland operations specialist with the Northwest Fire District in Tucson.

He said local fire departments also will be able to use additional gel products not yet tested at some point.

Hughes said he has not heard of any municipal fire departments stocking the gels yet, but that ``as they become more tested, as they prove their value, I think we'll start seeing departments stocking the stuff... Most people like myself haven't used it enough to form any opinion.''

``The nice thing about the gels is that they're durable,'' said Shirley Zylstra, a physical scientist and toxicologist at the Missoula center.

The polymers are ``the same thing found in baby diapers,'' she said. ``They have a tremendous amount of ability to hold large amounts of water relative to their weight,'' and they work like a cooling barrier against the building.

``They kind of insulate it against the oncoming fire, Zylstra added.

The gels will remain effective as long as they retain water, which will depend on such factors as heat, humidity, wind and the temperatures created by approaching fire.

They typically can be applied two or more hours ahead of time - longer than foam now in widespread use, which strong winds also are more apt to blow away.

Testing of gels in the Missoula lab began about 8 or 10 years ago for effectiveness and toxicity to people and the environment, Zylstra said.

She said such testing usually takes about two years, and that the market for such products usually is small for a few years after that.

``They've gotten a lot more use in the last three, four, five years,'' Zylstra added.

One drawback: the gel is messy, so cleanup can be difficult, she said.

``The polymers love water, so once the water evaporates, the polymers will pull water from the structure,'' Zylstra said.

Scraping is one solution, though at least one manufacturer has developed a detergent-type formulation, she said.

Anyone can buy the approved products, Zylstra added.

Hughes of the Northwest Fire District said it's likely that homeowners in an urban interface area will invest in gels and equipment to apply them.

``I know people have looked at portable pumps,'' he said. ``Gels probably would work well with them.''

The Forest Service would use gel agents only on federally owned structures, leaving private property to the discretion of municipal fire departments or local homeowners, said Rose Davis, a spokeswoman for the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Gel A Key Weapon Against Wildfires | Yankton Press & Dakotan

By: Joe Kafka
Associated Press Writer

HOT SPRINGS -- It was the highest-intensity fire ever recorded in the Black Hills National Forest, but nearly all homes coated with a slimy gel were saved while nearby homes burned to the ground.

John Nash, 63, did not lose his home. But he should have. Seventeen of his neighbors lost theirs in the July wildfire.

Retardant gel, a super-absorbent polymer that encases water droplets for thermal protection of flammable materials, was the difference, he said.

"The house and the flagpole were all that was left," said Nash, no stranger to the firefighting business.

As a volunteer firefighter of many years, he's seen what wildfires can do. The blaze that swept over his gel-protected home was horrible, Nash said.

"This was the nastiest fire I've ever seen. It was lighting up pine cones and the wind was blowing them ahead like tracer bullets," he said.

In all, 33 homes were lost in the Alabaugh Canyon Fire in July.

Protective gel, mixed with water, is relatively new to the firefighting arsenal. Hoses can be used to apply it to homes, and gel also can be dropped from aircraft.

Gel absorbs many times its weight in water and clings well to vertical surfaces. The gel can be quickly applied and protect buildings for at least three or four hours. Once sprayed on homes, the protective powers can be rejuvenated numerous times merely by sprinkling the gel with water.

Those familiar with gel technology are sold on it.

Kim Zagaris, fire chief in the California Office of Emergency Services, said all 122 of the fire trucks under his command carry gel because it can save buildings that otherwise would be destroyed.

"We think it's very good," he said. "It provides us a little more flexibility to make some things happen."

But as effective as gel is, it still is used sporadically in most places, if at all, to prevent homes and other flammable property from being destroyed by wildfires.

In the last decade, thousands of homes -- mostly in Rocky Mountain and western states -- have been destroyed by wildfires. Southern California blazes in the fall of 2003 alone claimed nearly 3,650 homes, killed 22 people and scorched 430 square miles.

A June fire near South Lake Tahoe burned 254 homes. Many of them were ignited by flying embers that rained down ahead of the main fire front.

Protective gel could have saved a lot of those homes, said Ed Waggoner of Reno, Nev., a retired California fire boss who now helps direct attacks on large forest fires in the Black Hills. Gel is the wave of the future but has been slowly embraced by the firefighting community, he said.

"This stuff really works," Waggoner said. "It would have made a substantial difference at Tahoe if gel had been used on those homes. We're talking about a water bubble that you put on your house two or three hours before the fire gets there, and it'll save it when the fire gets there."

Zagaris, the California official, said he was unsure if gel was used to save homes in the Tahoe blaze because it spread so rapidly.

"Most of those homes were lost the first day of the fire, and most of my resources weren't up there. I doubt very seriously you had too many who could use it," he said.

In the Alabaugh Fire just southwest of this Black Hills tourist town, electrician Gorden Sabo, a veteran volunteer firefighter, helped spray 27 homes with gel. He said 25 of them escaped the blaze. One gelled home was destroyed because it was missing a garage door and the flames got inside, and the other home could not be saved because it started burning before it could be completely covered with gel, Sabo said.

Sabo, who has developed a $12,000-$20,000 system that can be attached to fire trucks to mix and quickly apply the gel in advance of approaching flames, has transformed two of his own trucks to do it. A home can be gelled in about 10 minutes, he said.

"The ones we save are usually the worst of the worst," Sabo said. "The houses that the fire departments don't believe they can save are the ones that they call us in to gel first."

Sabo has spent the past two years perfecting his gel system and only recently has begun to sell it to fire departments. He said interest in it has been high.