Mad Rocket Scientist

I just discovered my latest video watching obsession: Foam fire extinguishers

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As a fire suppression method, it looks very neat but.... the first thing that comes to my mind is "I don't wanna be the guy who has to clean all that up" :sticktongue:

 

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And I wouldn't want to be someone trapped in the room where that thing goes off. You'd suffocate in it. You can't swim on it, and you can't move it apart like sand. It would be a horrible death.

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5 hours ago, lajoswinkler said:

And I wouldn't want to be someone trapped in the room where that thing goes off. You'd suffocate in it. You can't swim on it, and you can't move it apart like sand. It would be a horrible death.

True.  At least you won't burn to death.  Those guys in the second video, with the plastic sheeting, seem to be taking a chance.

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On 1/21/2016 at 5:01 PM, lajoswinkler said:

And I wouldn't want to be someone trapped in the room where that thing goes off. You'd suffocate in it. You can't swim on it, and you can't move it apart like sand. It would be a horrible death.

A horrible but clean death.

/Horatio Cane

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On January 21, 2016 at 4:25 PM, Mad Rocket Scientist said:

At least you won't burn to death.

That must be on a shirt!

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On 21/01/2016 at 5:01 PM, lajoswinkler said:

And I wouldn't want to be someone trapped in the room where that thing goes off. You'd suffocate in it.

Since it would mostly be air, you would not. Though you might need some lung care afterwards, you could probably inhale the froth and survive just fine. The point of foam is having a large volume with minimal material. The rest is air.

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1 hour ago, Camacha said:

Since it would mostly be air, you would not. Though you might need some lung care afterwards, you could probably inhale the froth and survive just fine. The point of foam is having a large volume with minimal material. The rest is air.

Nope, inhaling foam is horrible. Foam clogs the lungs and completely disables the ventilation as it behaves like a fluid stopper. Also it's viscous and sticky enough that it prevents you from pushing it out by breathing alone. You'd think we exert great force with out diaphragm, but we don't.

Falling into foam is, in regards to breathing, same as falling into water, except you can't float on it.

It's one of the inhumane and usually illegal procedures for killing animals.

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37 minutes ago, lajoswinkler said:

Nope, inhaling foam is horrible. Foam clogs the lungs and completely disables the ventilation as it behaves like a fluid stopper. Also it's viscous and sticky enough that it prevents you from pushing it out by breathing alone. You'd think we exert great force with out diaphragm, but we don't.

I guess this is the point where we would need some credible sources. The chicken example is compelling, though I am hesitant to apply it to human scenarios* - not in the least because humans typically have more options to save themselves. What kind of foam we are dealing with in both scenarios I am also not sure. The only sources on the chicken foam I seem to find are animal rights activists sites of the dubious type. Getting covered does not seem to bother the man in the video.

Though I entirely accept the possibility is misread the nature of the substance used. Come to think of it, it very well might be more like a sort of sticky water, than frothy air. From a fire fighting perspective it makes sense that way.

*Why did the KSP player cross the road?

Edited by Camacha

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20 minutes ago, Mad Rocket Scientist said:

Also, you should have time to get out.  You could also probably climb on top of something like this:

That is what I meant by having options to save yourself :) Humans have hands, brains and tools to help themselves.

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Yep, foam physically blocks airways.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17234833

The last two sentences in the abstract say:

"In both foam- and CO(2)-euthanized broilers, lesions are consistent with anoxia or hypoxia. This suggests that foam acts by physically induced hypoxia, whereas CO(2) causes chemically induced hypoxia.".

I also found this.

http://www.worldpoultry.net/Broilers/Processing/2013/7/Gas-foam-The-humane-euthanasia-method-1297207W/

They claim that nitrogen bubbles are perfectly fine since they don't trigger the breathing reflex (which is CO2 based, not O2), and that animals don't notice that they are dieing. This goes against the first link, though. If the foam physically blocks the breathing, then it doesn't matter what's in the foam. It could very well be oxygen, if the airways are blocked, you suffocate.

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11 hours ago, Camacha said:

I guess this is the point where we would need some credible sources. The chicken example is compelling, though I am hesitant to apply it to human scenarios* - not in the least because humans typically have more options to save themselves. What kind of foam we are dealing with in both scenarios I am also not sure. The only sources on the chicken foam I seem to find are animal rights activists sites of the dubious type. Getting covered does not seem to bother the man in the video.

Though I entirely accept the possibility is misread the nature of the substance used. Come to think of it, it very well might be more like a sort of sticky water, than frothy air. From a fire fighting perspective it makes sense that way.

*Why did the KSP player cross the road?

I don't know if that's a credible source, but here I am. I almost suffocated with foam once. It felt like trying to push a very dense putty out of my airways. Luckily, it was only a small amount so I haven't passed out before I managed to remove it by self administered Heimlich maneuvers using a chair, and violent inhalations. I was close to passing out and I remember intense panic and pain. Quite horrible experience IMO.

 

There are humane methods of mass killing poultry and they involve gradual exposure to controlled atmosphere. Foam is just pure laziness and cruelty.

Edited by lajoswinkler

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5 hours ago, Shpaget said:

Yep, foam physically blocks airways.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17234833

The last two sentences in the abstract say:

"In both foam- and CO(2)-euthanized broilers, lesions are consistent with anoxia or hypoxia. This suggests that foam acts by physically induced hypoxia, whereas CO(2) causes chemically induced hypoxia.".

I also found this.

http://www.worldpoultry.net/Broilers/Processing/2013/7/Gas-foam-The-humane-euthanasia-method-1297207W/

They claim that nitrogen bubbles are perfectly fine since they don't trigger the breathing reflex (which is CO2 based, not O2), and that animals don't notice that they are dieing. This goes against the first link, though. If the foam physically blocks the breathing, then it doesn't matter what's in the foam. It could very well be oxygen, if the airways are blocked, you suffocate.

The second link is pure crap, written by some douchebag from the poultry industry. Fabian Brockotter, a journalist. Clearly, he has lots of experience with animal physiology. :rolleyes:

Anoxia can't happen with nitrogen foam because there isn't any gas exchange, foam blocks it. With pure nitrogen, CO2 is exhaled as well as remnants of oxygen. Both gases are depleted. CO2 is not building up thus no panic, and oxygen depletion causes euphoria and audiovisual hallucinations.

With foam, CO2 remains in the blood and builds up, triggering panic and pain.

Edited by lajoswinkler

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