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Fire suppression product gains interest from Oklahoma agencies

Cold Fire is a plant-based liquid fire suppression chemical that undergoes a reaction to heat that causes the chemical to absorb it.
by Matt Patterson Published: October 12, 2012

Shawnee police Sgt. Phil Burger said the man escaped with only a broken collar bone.

Payson cited an accident in Dallas earlier this year that did not end well as officers emptied several dry chemical-based fire extinguishers into a car in a failed effort to save two people inside.

“They could talk to them but they couldn't get them out and they couldn't put out the fire,” he said. “They were running up to nearby houses to see if they had any more extinguishers.”

Yukon Police Chief John Corn watched as Payson and his staff conducted the demonstration Thursday. He came away impressed, and interested.

“I think as a department you're always looking for ways to protect the public and property and this is one way to do it,” he said. “We don't typically budget for things like fire suppression but it's something I definitely want to look into.”

Corn said his officers are sometimes called upon to put out fires.

“We sometimes are the first people out to the scene of an accident so while we may not deal with fires every day, there are situations where we have to,” he said.

Cost benefit

Cold Fire costs about four to five times more than dry chemical extinguishers but less of the suppressant is required to put out fires. A typical dry chemical extinguisher costs about $50 to $70.

There is also no maintenance necessary, as is the case with cartridge based extinguishers that must be sent to a third party to be recharged. It can also be purchased in bulk and mixed with water while some canisters are small enough to fit in a glove box of a patrol car.

“Departments can pressurize it themselves and as long as it's stored properly it has no limit on the shelf life,” he said.

“Ultimately the cost can be lower in the long run.”

by Matt Patterson
Matt Patterson has been with The Oklahoman since 2006. Prior to joining the news staff in 2010, Patterson worked in The Oklahoman's sports department for five years. He previously worked at The Lawton Constitution and The Edmond Sun....
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