Fires these days are bigger, happen more often and are more costly and destructive than ever. Some say it’s climate change. Others pooh pooh the notion and say it’s probably more people living on that all-important urban-wilderness line.
Insurers are taking a real bath. Property damages are escalating. In 2017 in California alone insurance losses hit $12 billion. It goes downhill from there. Estimates from risk groups say $1.5 trillion worth of homes and property are in areas threatened by wildfire.
Mitigating risk is becoming big business.
Here’s a new idea to help reduce that risk. It’s a new kind of water. We know — what’s wrong with the old kind of water? And, hey, isn’t there just one kind of water? — it sounds far-fetched. However, a company called Atira Systems has invented a product called Strong Water.
John Denholm is the firm’s CEO and he explains why Strong Water may be a solution — or at least one of many.
“In firefighting, 90% of the water usually falls to the floor or the ground, and runs off and does no work. With our technology, we’re getting it to stick and stay where the heat is, and at the head of the fire or wrapping up around and sticking to areas that are burning. This rapidly — exponentially — extinguishes a fire and sucks the heat out of enclosed spaces faster,” he said.
The product is basically a non-toxic, water enhancing gel designed to go into a fire truck and then be sprayed proportionately via a water stream. It creates a thermal barrier that can protect a home or a business before the flames even touch a roof or a building.
Denholm said Strong Water was tested during fires in San Bernardino and San Diego counties and was applied to structures in the Napa and Thomas fires and it worked.
The bottom line is this product gives firefighters a preventative tool to be applied to structures to help stop the advance of a fire.
“Homes and structures that are built in areas more conducive to being burned — where it would endanger their people to put them there — our technology now enables them to go in advance, and apply a protective coating on the structure and then leave and protect those structures from burning. It gives them another tool in their toolbox, and it essentially is allowing them to protect more structures that would otherwise be deemed probably too dangerous to protect,” Denholm said.
Source link: Insurance Business America