Increasing efficiency of water fire extinguishers:

The common 2.5 gallon pressurized water extinguisher is a common tool in our inventory at a fireworks show to deal with burning cakes, or grass fires.  This can be a fairly common occurrence.  But there is a simple addition to the extinguishers that we can make when recharging them, that will greatly increase their effectiveness. 

By adding one cup / 8 fluid ounces / 250 ml of common household dish soap (Joy, Palmolive, budget brand, etc) to the extinguisher after the 2.5 gallons of water, then the air charge, we have changed the surface tension of the water.  (HINT: Water first then soap, or the amount of bubbles you create will be unimaginable)

This change in surface tension will improve the ability of the water to penetrate things like grass, wood and cardboard for much more effective fire suppression. 

On several fire department web forums, comments suggest this more than doubles the effectiveness of the fire suppression.   Google for yourself and see -  “2.5 gallon water extinguisher, dish soap”

Try it out next time you are recharging one and see the difference.

Planning a fireworks show in the future, perhaps at some new location and wondering about when sun rise, sunset or the moon conditions will be on a particular date? from the Griffith Observatory can solve those mysteries for you.

They also have mobile apps to get that info on the go. 

They have selectable calendars for many world cities - including Canadian cities, right off of the main page.

If you don’t see your city/town here, use the “more...”  option after the heading “Canadian Cities” there are hundreds of communities listed.

Once you pick your city/town (or use the option to input GPS coordinates) and select month that you want to look at, and then click Make Calendar.

For added benefit, you can go into some of the other options and check moon rise and moon set, or check Nautical twilight.

Check it out when planning your next show, it might be helpful for planning.

Here is another Tip and Trick offering for you:  

Have some critical splices in some quick-match, especially splices that might be very “unhappy” if it happened to be drenched by a rain shower just before your show?

A roll of red “Tuck Tape” TM (sheathing tape), which is used for sealing construction sheathing (building wrap) and sealing vapour barrier materials,  might be just the solution for your kit of pyro gear.  This product  is readily available at your local building supply store (Home Hardware, Rona, Home Depot, Lowes, etc)

It is super water proof and pretty much sticks to any surface and a 50 metre long roll with set you back around $9.00.

A few inch / CM piece of this stuff over your quick-match splice - be sure it is sealed to both pieces of quick-match - and your splice (and show) should survive the rain shower.