BARRICADE© Fire Blocking Gel Frequently Asked Questions
- What is NPE-free Barricade II?
NPE-Free Barricade ® II is the result of 10 years of research and testing to eliminate nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) and petroleum distillate from the original Barricade formula. NPE-Free Barricade ® II has been approved for use by the US Forest Service in a wide range of firefighting functions including application by large air tankers, smaller Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATs), helicopters using buckets as well as firefighters on the ground using fire engines. Barricade ® II is the first and only liquid fire gel concentrate that has been approved for use by the Forest Service that does not contain toxic chemical additives known as NPEs and petroleum distillate oils. Environmental organizations have called upon the U.S. Forest Service to ban the use of other firefighting chemicals that contain NPEs.
- Is NPE-free Barricade II in the Forest Service Qualified Products List (QPL)?
Yes. The Forest Service placed Barricade ® II on the QPL in early 2006.
- What are NPE's and are they dangerous to humans or animals?
NPEs (a.ka. Nonylphenol Ethoxylates) are surfactant components found in some other brands of fire gel products. Recent scientific studies have shown that NPEs have negative effects on the reproductive systems of animals and humans in extremely low doses which can cause birth defects in future generations. Barricade is proud to offer the ONLY liquid fire gel that is completely free of toxic NPEs and petroleum distillates. Barricade is the only fire chemical of any kind to be awarded the prestigious “Champion” award from our nation’s EPA.
- Is Barricade safe to use? What do I need to be concerned about?
Barricade is a very safe product. It will not harm you or the environment. If you read the Material Safety Data Sheet, it states that the concentrate can be irritating to the skin and eyes. If it does get on your skin or in your eyes, simply flush with water.
Note: Barricade is very slippery. The potential for slips and falls is significant. Use the utmost care when applying Barricade. If you are applying Barricade to your roof, we recommend that you apply it from the safety of a ladder.
- Is special protective gear required for mixing or application?
No. Special protective clothing and respirators are not required.
Use and Application;
- Can Barricade extinguish magnesium fires?
Tests of Barricade on burning magnesium alloy have shown that the use of Barricade can greatly reduce the amount of time and water required to extinguish a fire involving magnesium. Water alone will not immediately extinguish burning magnesium; it is immediately dissociated into hydrogen and oxygen, adding fuel to the fire. The use of firefighting foam is also not effective, because the air bubbles just add oxygen to the flames. But Barricade Fire Gel helps to hold the water in suspension, and can smother the fire with cooling effectiveness. Professionals agree that treating surrounding flammables is a good first step before attacking the magnesium fire.
- Will the Barricade gel damage the paint on my house?
On a well maintained home the Barricade gel will not affect the paint. On a home or object that has not been painted in many years, the Barricade gel will actually clean the painted surface. This may cause it to look different from the rest of the painted surface.
- Can I use a commercial system at my home?
Perhaps. Most homes do not have adequate water pressure and volume to supply the 15 gpm eductor nozzles used in the commercial systems. Also, either 1 or 1 ½ inch hose is required. Many homeowners do, in fact, purchase commercial systems particularly when they have a supplemental water pumping system that will supply the needed volume and pressure. Contact us for any additional information you may need to decide on which system is best for your situation.
- Can I apply Barricade to my hay barn? How will affect the quality of the hay?
Testing of Barricade on hay bales has shown that the hay is protected from burning. The Barricade-water mixture provides an outer coating and does not penetrate beyond that coating. Thus, instead of completely soaking the hay with water, as in traditional firefighting, only the outer portion is affected. Loss of hay to water damage would be greatly reduced.
- How much Barricade do I need?
This will require a little calculating on your part. Each 1 gallon container of Barricade concentrate will coat 500-700 square feet of area. The area you cover depends on how thickly you apply the product. A ¼ inch covering is recommended. The average home will take between three and five 1 gallon containers of Barricade concentrate.
Note: When coating brush, trees and plants or creating fire-breaks, the 500-700 square feet of coverage area will not apply.
- How does the eductor nozzle work?
Both the QuikAtak and Atak Pak eductors are specifically engineered to deliver a pre-determined amount of Barricade ® II from the container into the stream of water. This engineering is designed to create the optimum mixture for use on structures. (Except for cleanup, never pour water directly into Barricade ® II Fire Blocking Gel.)
The Quik Atak eductor nozzle is designed for use with the 1-gallon container. The Atak Pak eductor nozzle is designed for use with the Atak Pak? and has a hand-hold for ease of use.
The Atak Pak system also has a shut off valve between the back pack and the nozzle allowing water-only feed through the nozzle. This feature also allows the operator to vary the amount of concentrate passing into the water stream depending on the type of fire control desired.
For example, less concentrate would be required for broadcast application on landscape than for structure protection.
Both nozzles are designed for delivery of 15 GPM at 80 psi and are equipped with 1 and 1 ½ inches hose fittings.
- Where should I spray the Barricade when a fire is coming?
Barricade can be used on houses, shake roofs, decks, doors, windows, eaves, fences, outbuildings, sheds, dog houses, log piles, brush, shrubbery, trees, haystacks, cars, boats, grilles, LP and propane tanks. Remember, it is not so important to completely encase the home in gel. The eaves, windows, doors, decks and wood shake roofs are most important to coat. Asphalt shingles do not need to be coated unless a tree or some other exposure is nearby.
Personal safety is paramount.
Do not put yourself in danger during the approach of wildfire.
Note: Defensible space is very important.
- Can I use well or river/lake water?
Yes, Barricade can be used with well and natural water.
- Once I apply Barricade how long can I expect it to last?
Depending on weather conditions such as sunlight, wind and humidity, Barricade can be expected to last from a minimum of 6-8 hours to a maximum of 24-36 hours. The thicker you apply the gel the longer it will last. We recommend that after its initial application, you lightly mist the gel with water. The applied gel is under-hydrated and it will continue to swell and offer additional protection.
Note: If the Barricade gel begins to dry out it can be re-hydrated by misting it lightly with water.
- How thick should the gel be applied?
We recommend coating the object until it is white. This usually means a coating of about ¼” thick.
- How much water pressure (psi) do i need to use the home kit system?
The Barricade Home Fire Defense System requires a minimum of 30 PSI at the nozzle to operate properly. Homeowners who have a private well should adjust their pumps to achieve this pressure.
- How much reach do I have with the nozzle on the home kit?
This depends on how much water pressure you have. A pump supplying 30 PSI will give you about ten feet of reach. A pump supplying 50 PSI will provide 15-20 feet of reach.
- How do I clean up after using Barricade?
When the danger has passed, rinse the Barricade gel off with plain water and a pressure nozzle. It will take a while to rinse off the Barricade, especially if you have applied a very thick coating. Basically what you are doing is over hydrating the product until it breaks down. If the Barricade gel has been left on for an extended period of time re-wet the gel and let it re-hydrate. This will make it easier to clean off. In a worst case scenario it may have to be pressure cleaned.
Once you have finished using either system, the entire unit should be disassembled. Each component should be flushed thoroughly with water until all Barricade residue is gone.
NOTE: Soaking the components in warm or hot water will make the cleanup easier. Please see the Cleanup and Trouble Shooting portion of our Video.
A special clean-up tool is included with the Attack Pack.
- How do I clean up my home kit nozzle after each use?
Once you have completed using the Home Fire Defense System, the entire unit should be disassembled. Each component should be flushed thoroughly with water until all Barricade residue is gone. NOTE: Soaking the components in warm or hot water will make the cleanup easier. Please see the Cleanup and Trouble-Shooting portion of our Home System Video.
- What is the shelf life of Barricade II?
Barricade can be stored safely for a several years. The consistency of Barricade is very similar to paint as some of the product will settle to the bottom. We recommend that you shake it every six months. Barricade should be shaken vigorously for a minimum of two minutes before use.
The manufacturer’s warranty is for four (4) years against defects. The history of users indicates that with proper storage and handling, and with periodic agitation, the shelf life is much longer than this.
- Does it damage Barricade concentrate if it freezes or gets to hot during storage?
We do not recommend allowing the concentrate to freeze or get to temperatures above 120° Fahrenheit. Repeated exposure to these temperatures could have a negative effect on our product.