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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any welders out there or firemen..

Why do people in active fire zones not cover their homes in something like a welding blanket or fire blanket and wet the damned thing down.

Remember the old saying "A wet blanket".

I cannot imagine that this would not be effective against all but a flame burning right up against the dwelling

I have used a "wet blanket" many times in my life to put out a fire.

Imagine a roll of fabric at the peak of your dwelling and a system to allow it to unroll and fall down the roof and sides of the building. Then a system to wet it down so that any embers falling on it would simply be extinguished.

What say ye....
 

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im a firefighter here in Tucson and we do alot of wildland stuff, alot of the times even just the heat will catch the contents on fire before the actual fire even touches the house, so the blanket wouldnt realy do much, not to mention it would be heavy and expensive and hard to deploy over a whole house. Those are the main reasons i can think of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It wouldn't need be expensive, Just something like a towel that could be soaked down and would absorb water. I big beach wet beach towel over the dwelling.

Something the size of a ship's sail made of bath towel material would be affordable.

Add up the cost of the blankets in your home and the square footage they could cover and this should be a good measure. Remember getting the thing soaked is the key in my opinion
 

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But you`d still need to wet it down. Might be better off with a sprinker system of some sort, maybe that could draw out of your pool.
 

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What about sheets soaked in borax, boric acid and then allowed to dry and then draped over structures. Definitely cheaper if you get the old sheets from yard sales.
 
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if water is available...reliable sourch....why not just a permenate sprinker system instaled....ala the system used on aircraft carriers to flush the decks from a nuke/chem attack
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You need something to retain the water.
Just a sprinkler would run out of water quickly.

Let's test it!!!

Put a big wet towel over a dog house and see if you can set it on fire!!!!!

I'll bet you can't
 

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Wetting the surface will protect from sparks, but once a large wildfire gets close, the heat will be more than enough to evaporate whatever water you can spray from a sprinkler system, you'd need a dedicated dump bucket from a helicopter to last any amount of time. Also remember these fires are occurring in the Southwest, there's only so much water available.
 

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Wetting the surface will protect from sparks, but once a large wildfire gets close, the heat will be more than enough to evaporate whatever water you can spray from a sprinkler system, you'd need a dedicated dump bucket from a helicopter to last any amount of time. Also remember these fires are occurring in the Southwest, there's only so much water available.
I am here in central Texas, 20 miles from a town... lots of dry brush. I planted evergreens and have been taking out dry dead brush and tress. We get grass fires everyday.

I am using the coating on the roof, and am running soaker hoses to cover house and barn.
Shored up under houses and barn so nothing can fly under (I hope)

but any advise is welcomed:D:
 

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You need something to retain the water.
Just a sprinkler would run out of water quickly.

Let's test it!!!

Put a big wet towel over a dog house and see if you can set it on fire!!!!!

I'll bet you can't
The problem is that the fire (especially in large forested areas) moves quickly but remains for a tad. The intense heat would dry and fabric which then would only help fuel the fire.

I think some sort of sprinkler umbrella with several facets at various points on the eve would be more effective. That way your constantly saturating your house whilst keeping it as cool as possible. It's the heat that dries and ignites.

You would need a constant flow of moisture.
 

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optimistic pessimist
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why won't the sheets soaked in boric acid/borax work? I make things flame retardant all the time for things near camping equipment. The material will not burn unless a direct flame is against it. Then, the moment the flame is gone, it stops burning. Then water becomes somewhat of the enemy. For dry climates where there may not be water... not a bad thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
OK,

Then a big towel with a sprinkler system would be the best of both worlds.

The "towel" would maximize the effectiveness of the sprinkler.

Also the fire-retardant is a good idea but wouldn't things still get hot??

The "wet towel" would keep things below the boiling point at least until all water was gone...
 

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I am here in central Texas, 20 miles from a town... lots of dry brush. I planted evergreens and have been taking out dry dead brush and tress. We get grass fires everyday.

I am using the coating on the roof, and am running soaker hoses to cover house and barn.
Shored up under houses and barn so nothing can fly under (I hope)

but any advise is welcomed:D:
My parents live in East San Diego county, they get evacuation notices every few years. Out there iceplant(similar to aloe) is usually planted around peoples outer yards, it retains alot of moisture. Short term though the best you can do is soak stuff down and keep sparks from landing on or in anything.
 

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Surplus, have you looked into a CAFS system? Instead of using an actual blanket, it uses a blanket of foam to protect structures and extinguish fires. CAFS foam saved the Old Faithful Lodge during the Yellowstone Fire in 1988. The interesting thing with CAFS is that it lessens water's surface tension and soaks materials better than plain water, as well as providing a foam blanket. Also, CAFS doesn't require much water to do its job. I don't know if CAFS would be suitable or economical for your scenario, but it's pretty interesting.
 

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I am a ex vol fire fighter from northern Calif.

First windows should be coated with reflective Mylar coating.
Curtains inside closed windows can and do catch fire from radiant heat.
all curtains on windows should be fireproof materials

The out side walls of home should be painted with fire proof paint.
http://www.hardlifestyle.com/inferno.html
https://ceasefiretechnology.com/
http://www.firehouse.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-54136.html

Any wood shingled roofs should be replaced with non flammable materials.

Then there are sprays you can use to spray down you home,trees and other plants around you home when a fire nears.
http://www.firegel.com/
http://www.firechemicals.com/
http://www.fire-etc.com/thermo-gel

There are many ways to reduce the risk of fire
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
To tell where I'm coming from this is what I did to save a couple of my wooden sheds from some grass fires here in kansas.

Lacking any sophisticated method of protecting buildings, all I did was take as many winter blankets I could find, nail them to the sheds and then soak them down with the hose from my well.

It seems to have worked well for me and I would think that scaling it up to fit bigger buildings would have merit.

I could have just watered the buildings, but I figured the water wouldn't last long.

The blankets absorbed the water and stayed pretty wet as well as the building under it.

Wheeeee!!!!!
 

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I remember an article a few years back in popular science mag with a similar idea for whole house use in a wildfire type emergency.

http://www.popsci.com/scitech/article/2009-06/fireproof-house

http://www.popsci.com/content/fireproof-house-close

The article was talking about govt research on the concept, so who knows how far it has progressed, but it seems to be a reliable idea, though not something you could activate more than once. Kinda like an airbag needing to be reloaded or recharged after an accident. I would think insurance companies would give some good discounts for having this type of a system in place, especially if it could be deployed remotely or automatically if no one is home to do so manually.
 

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welding blankets that I use ( the good ones ) are $75 for a 6x6 blanket. wet or dry it dont matter it still protects what ever is under it. I often weld over carpet, cabinets and finished products.
 
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