NFPA 18: Standard on Wetting Agents

Service Detail from National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)


This standard addresses qualification tests, methods of evaluation, and general rules for application of wetting agents and wetting agent solutions as related to fire control and extinguishment. A.1.1 The addition of a listed wetting agent to water increases the water's penetrating abilities and might also provide emulsifying and foaming characteristics. Wetting agent solutions extend the efficiency of water in protection against fire exposure and the extinguishment of Class A and Class B fires in ordinary combustibles and combustible liquids that are insoluble in water and ordinarily stored at atmospheric temperatures and pressures. In general, wetting agents can be effectively applied and used with fire protection equipment where water is normally used. The degree of efficiency obtained depends on utilization of the most efficient application methods, techniques, and devices for the hazard involved. When water containing a listed wetting agent is applied to a fire, some of the wetting agent can be expected to remain after extinguishment. This residual wetting agent can be effective in reducing the surface tension of water that might subsequently be applied. The volume of wetting agent solution required can vary with each type of system and hazard. If used in a water-based fire suppression system, the standard applicable to that system applies.