Firefighting product on sale to public

A FIRE retardant previously only available to the firefighting industry is now being sold to the general public.

A formulation called LC95-W is available in Australia for household and agricultural use and is being sold as a concentrate in 2.5-litre or 15-litre pails.

The product is being shipped from the United States and being marked by Firebreak Spray Systems.

Co-owner Ray Jones contacted the Bendigo Advertiser to spread the word about the product after he heard about recent grass fires in the region.

"This is the first season that it's been made available to the general public but the CFA and NSW rural fire service have been using it around Australia for probably the last 40 years," he said.

"But up until now it's only been available to the firefighting industry.

"So it's designed for farmers and people who live on the rural fringe as well as the outskirts of town where they have grassland and bush up against their back fence."

The product works on the flammability of wood, plants and other fuel materials by changing their combustibility when exposed to fire.

The heat changes the treated surface into carbon, releasing water.

The water boils off, leaving a coating of graphite-like carbon which insulates and restricts air flow, virtually “starving” the fire of fuel.

"This is something that you can actually spray around your home and then leave," Mr Jones said.

"And that's what we're pushing - the fact you can do all your preparation, undertake the clearing around your home and create that safe zone.

"Then you spray the perimeter around your house and any fuel around your home and then you can leave and know pretty much that you personally are safe because you've left the fire zone and the product is going to be doing whatever a hose would do."

Firebreak recommends the retardant be applied at the start of bushfire season as part of Fire Ready planning or when the authorities are warning of high fire risk days ahead.

The concentrate is mixed with water.

"The response has been very positive," Mr Jones said.

"Particularly now with the fire season under way, we've had a few hot spots around the country, all of a sudden the safety and the security of their homes and family are forefront in their minds and they're looking for solutions other than standing at the end of their hose and squirting the fire."

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