When selecting a fuel source, your
first concern is often efficiency, due to its direct correlation to cost. Our
energy concerns often come down to a simple matter of cost versus benefit, and
we’re all about getting a rock bottom deal. Yet in recent years, new concerns
have arisen regarding the impact our cheap, efficient energy is having on the
environment. As more and more pollution floods our air, water, and bodies, it
is becoming increasingly apparent that there are hidden costs to fuel that must
be considered. Even when choosing a fire training system, the type of fuel
being used can have an impact on the environment, and it is your responsibility
to consider that impact – and the cost of reducing said impact.
firefighting relied on acquired structures: residential or commercial buildings
donated to the fire department. This method of training has a significant
carbon footprint and it also presents a variety of safety concerns. Even with
careful inspection it is nearly impossible to uncover every potential
structural concern in the building. Furthermore, fuel sourcing may not be
A second means of structural
firefighter training is in purpose-built burn buildings that traditionally use
wooden pallets and hay as the fuel source. This is a more controlled burn, but
flames cannot be extinguished without actually pushing them out, and the
emissions are significant. Additionally, the water run-off is considerable and
there is a high chance of damage to protective gear.
You’re Faced with a Choice
Reducing your system’s carbon
footprint is not necessarily a matter of adopting wind, water, or solar energy.
These are admirable sources of power, but they have three problems when it
comes to their implementation: first and foremost, they are not widely
available, and so you cannot reliably have your power provided in this manner.
Second, it is expensive to install your own, separate alternative power sources
– often prohibitively so. Third, the use of alternative energy would make it
very difficult to simulate the real fires that a fire training system is
intended to prepare its users for.
Indeed, when it comes to a fire
training system, you are almost obligated to use some form of fossil fuel. Are
you then doomed to add yet more carbon to the environment? Well, frankly, yes,
but there are ways to ensure that you add the least amount possible;
specifically, you can use propane and natural gas rather than other fuel
sources for your training systems.
Saving the Planet
Natural gas has borne some of the
blame for greenhouse gases, but the truth is that it is a relatively clean fuel
source when it is burned. The negative effect natural gas has on the
environment only occurs when the gas is allowed to escape into the atmosphere
during drilling or transportation – as in, when the necessary precautions are
not taken. As companies develop superior leak detection systems, the
environmental impact of natural gas is reduced.
Gasoline, diesel fuel, hay, coal,
and other less environmentally-friendly hydrocarbons release oxides of sulfur
and nitrogen, along with elements of mercury, selenium, and arsenic into the
air, not to mention the particulates and non-combustible slag that is left
after burning. These are essentially poisons being released into our
environment, and when burnt, do a lot to increase your carbon footprint, so to
speak. Natural gas, on the other hand, emits considerably less poisons and
fumes into the air when burned.
A Cleaner Future
In fact, gas-fueled fire training
systems and simulators resolve all concerns with run-off and emissions.
Numerous studies by the US Navy and the Federal Aviation Administration have
shown that the runoff from gas-fueled simulators can be drained into ordinary
residential sewer systems without filtering or separation since contaminants
are at extremely low levels – no worse than what comes out of a residence.
Further, non-toxic simulated smoke alleviates air pollution concerns whether
water-bases or mineral oil-based smoke machines are used. Smoke dissipates
within a few feet from a training structure, thereby eliminating concerns of
suburban-sprawl or not in my backyard (nimby) protests. This has allowed for
training in the most population dense cities and areas in the world.
When it comes to your fire
training system, there is no better way to save money, increase efficiency, and
reduce your carbon footprint than to choose natural gas and propane systems
over Class A and other hydrocarbon systems. The fuel used will have a long-term
impact not just on your bottom line – although that is certain to be strongly affected
– but also on your organization’s local carbon footprint. As your goal is
ultimately to prepare firefighters to help safeguard and protect your region
against disaster, why not help to protect it against the disaster of pollution?
Indeed, some states are already
taking steps to limit the carbon emissions that businesses and other
organizations create. In time, it may be a requirement for your organization to
meet certain carbon emissions standards, much as automobiles must now do, and
planning ahead for that day may save your organization quite a bit of money –
and yourself a headache – in the future.
So, save the planet, save money, and save yourself stress down the line – the choice between natural gas or propane and other fuels like gasoline, diesel, wood, and hay seems clear. Fortunately, Fireblast’s training systems are fueled by natural gas and propane. Merely by reading this, you have taken the first step towards a cleaner, more affordable future
Contact Fireblast Global at 1-951-277-8319 for more information on our fire training services and how we can help you fight fires the smart way.