A burning building can create enormous amounts of radiant heat, and there is always a risk that this heat will cause a fire in neighbouring properties. Simultaneous fires in two or more properties will require significant resources to prevent further spread. For some Fire and Rescue Services, it may take some time for the required resources to arrive and deploy their firefighting equipment.
Cobra is not only used when you need to cut through into a confined compartment; the fine water mist can also be used in other ways. For example, Cobra has successfully been used at large property fires to shield neighbouring buildings from heat damage and fire spread.
Using Cobra for heat shielding is quick and effective and less resource-intensive than more conventional means of providing heat shielding. The Cobra lance and its lightweight hose are very manoeuvrable and can be deployed with one operative, depending on the risk assessment for the specific incident.
The method is very simple yet effective. The operator directs the water mist from Cobra between the burning building and the object that needs to be protected. There is always a risk for the fire to spread to neighbouring properties. Using Cobra for heat shielding to prevent fire spread between properties can be very effective.
Heat can be absorbed from a burning two-storey facade around 20 metres long. Several Cobras can be deployed for longer or larger facades.
Laboratory tests carried out at the Research Institute of Sweden (RISE) testing centre in Sweden have confirmed positive results. A fine water mist moving at high speed is the key to success. This is achieved from 60 litres of water per minute at 300 bar pressure. Compare this to conventional water curtains that use 500-600 litres per minute.
Getting the required resources to the fire scene can use up valuable time. The Cobra equipment is light in weight and easy to handle, which enables rapid deployment. A quick intervention with Cobra can start with only one operative. The training programme that underpins Cobra gives fire crews the ability and confidence to deploy Cobra very quickly on arrival.
Limits water use.
Cobra uses 60 litres of water per minute, considerably less than conventional water curtains that use 500-600 litres per minute. As Cobra only uses 60 litres of water per minute, an 1800 litre water tank will last 30 minutes if Cobra is used continuously. This gives valuable time to secure additional water supply where needed – which is very important in areas where water supplies are scarce.
Reduces environmental impact from the fire.
The rapid fire and fire gas suppression associated with Cobra means that less toxic emissions get into the atmosphere. Reduced water consumption means less contaminated water runoff gets into watercourses.
Benefits of Cobra use
- Quick intervention
- Effective heat shielding with only one operative
- Reduced requirement for water supply
- Only 60 litres of water per minute
- Most of the water-mist will evaporate, leaving almost no runoff water
- Helps save valuable assets in the surrounding
- Protects neighbouring properties
- Reduces the risks of fire spread