How to cool a flaming situation

June 2000 Fire & Safety

One of the most dangerous situations a firefighter can face is a gas cylinder in the middle of a blaze unless it has been stored in an insulating jacket made by Nullifire.

Experiments by the company have shown that at high temperatures the pressure in an unprotected canister increases, forcing the safety valve to fail and turning the canister into a flame-thrower or a virtual bomb.

Called Gas-Safe, the fire-resistant jacket fits over a gas cylinder and reduces the risk of ignition or explosion.

Technology has been used to insulate such cylinders from the effects of fire for more than 30 minutes, a feature which increases the time for safe evacuation, moving the dangerous cylinder from a heat source or extinguishing the threatening fire.

The gas cylinder, covered by its insulating skin, withstood temperatures of 600°C for more than 40 minutes without exploding during intense heating tests.

The insulating technology, devised by Nullifire and scientists at Warwick University can also be used to construct enclosures of almost any size and shape to protect any valuable or sensitive equipment against heat or fire.

After the temperature reaches between 150 and 180°C, the outer layer swells quickly to form an insulating layer like honeycomb, keeping the inside cool, despite the rising temperature outside.

The invention will have both industrial and domestic applications with smaller jackets being used to cover gas cylinders in caravans, boats, vehicles and at braais.

For details contact Carboline Europe on tel: (0944)2476 855 000, fax: (0944) 2476 469 547, e-mail: [email protected] or visit

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