Your plush new sofa could make fighting a fire more challenging. Algoma fire chief Tom Ackerman says the prevalence of newer synthetic and man made products has changed the way a fire has to be dealt with.
Ackerman says those materials like plastics and polyurethane foam are found in anything from furniture to wall coverings. They are often cheaper or easier for manufacturers to produce, but can quickly elevate the temperature of a room.
Fortunately, as the new concerns have popped up, so have new ways to help combat them.
Ackerman says one big evolution is foam systems that attack a fire differently than simply using water. Hoses and nozzles have improved over time as well.
Better, more heat resistant turnout gear can help in dealing with the mentioned increase in heat level. A self-contained breathing apparatus can resist the toxins from plastic and synthetic materials, and allow a firefighter to breathe a little easier.
Ackerman says the one thing that makes fighting fires the easiest remains consistent; prevention.