Sep 262011
A stored-pressure fire extinguisher

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Peter Cordani’s favorite way to show off his invention is to douse his arm in FireIce and try to char it with a blow torch.

Fortunately for him, FireIce is an effective water enhancer that when sprayed on an object takes the heat and oxygen out of the flames, as Cordani explains it.

Cordani invented FireIce 10 years ago, then partnered with GelTech five years ago to bring it to the market. After getting approved this year by the U.S. Forestry Service for it’s Quality Products List, FireIce can be used by federal agencies that fight wildland fires and fire departments through the nation.

“In a firefighter situation, you can put this in a firetruck, brush truck, helicopter or aircraft,” Cordani said.

FireIce allows fire departments to fight more fire with less equipment, GelTech President Joe Ingarra said. “This technology is where firefighting is going.”

The product comes as a powder, and by mixing it with water, it turns into a gel that is a “force multiplier,” Cordani said. That means one fire extinguisher full of gel does the work of six or eight regular fire extinguishers. If your car was on fire, just 2½ gallons of FireIce could put it out, versus 200 to 700 gallons of water, Ingarra said.

It washes off with water and is non-toxic and non-corrosive.

“Environmental impact was the number one concern to GelTech and the team,” Cordani said.

Cordani and Ingarra also want to sell FireIce directly to home­owners in the United States and have developed a home defense unit with a pressure washer and wand to apply the gel. They said they’re seeing a good market for it out West with the yearly threat of wild fires.

“When you’re coating your home, you want to coat everything around the home – bushes, grass. It will not harm it,” Cordani said. “That’s really something special.”

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