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Rosenbauer SKY CAFS help firefighters pump extinguishing agents to skyscrapers

Published on 6 September 2010
SKY CAFS help firefighters in extinguishing fire from buildings with more than 30 floors

SKY CAFS pumps extinguishing agent up to a height of 400 meters (1,312 ft)

The problem of pumping water, hundreds of meters high up, has been keeping firefighters busy around the world. This problem has been solved by Rosenbauer’s SKY CAFS.

Firefighters face complicated challenges with the ever-increasing heights of buildings. In particular, the question of pumping water hundreds of meters high up has been keeping firefighters busy around the world. SKY CAFS by Rosenbauer has a solution to this problem. SKY CAFS is a specially developed compressed air foam system that pumps extinguishing agent to a height of up to 400 meters (1,312 ft) - a world record!

Fires in high-rises are always a big problem, especially if they are beyond the reach of aerials or water turrets. This normally makes external extinguishing attack impossible. The only escape route is through the stairwell and the only remaining extinguishing tactic is internal attack. Modern high-rises are equipped with rising mains and wall hydrants for this purpose. Wherever there are none, are not dimensioned for the requirement, or do not function properly, the fire department must lay down its own pipelines - from the firefighting vehicle through the smoked stairwell to the origin of the fire, which could be on the 89th floor, for instance.

Water can be pumped only up to the 30th floor. A fire at 10 bar (145 psi) can pump it up to a maximum of 100 m (328 ft) under normal conditions. Whereas compressed air foam can be pumped much higher. Due to these special properties (low weight due to high air content with simultaneously high homogenizing level), CAF (compressed air foam) has remarkably better chances than pure water or conventional foamed water-foam mixtures. SKY CAFS helps operation units finally reach heights they had only dreamt of - 400 m (1,312 ft)!

For 99.99 % of all high-rises

 Rosenbauer offers a
solution for 99.99 %
of all high-rises

There are currently only 10 skyscrapers that are higher than 400 m (1,312 ft). So, with SKY CAFS, Rosenbauer offers a solution for 99.99 % of all high-rises. SKY CAFS is an important addition to industrial fire protection equipment of many countries, which include automatic fire alarm systems, sprinkler systems and the above mentioned extinguishing water supply on every floor. The system obviously increases the performance of mobile operation units in every situation.

A pumping experiment ldast summer confirmed the extraordinary performance of SKY CAFS. In cooperation with the industrial fire department of the Austrian Electric Power Company Verbund AG, 860 meters (2,822 ft) hoses were laid parallel to the Reisseck mountain railway (Carinthia) for pumping CAF from the valley to the mountain station.

The extinguishing agent successfully covered a vertical height of 400 meters (1,312 ft). Since the end of 2009, CAFS is being used as the standard solution for firefighting in multi-storey buildings. The system can either be integrated to fire-fighting vehicles or attached to a trailer. In November 2009, the first vehicle with SKY CAFS went to the Foshan fire department, 15 km (9 miles) from the south Chinese financial capital of Guangzhou.

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