Barricade International President, John Bartlett is the Florida firefighter who invented the first fire blocking gel after observing that a used, wet disposable baby diaper did not burn during a routine trash fire.
From this humble beginning, he has brought us an easy-to-use system that is changing the way homeowners protect their most precious possessions and lifestyles. And professional firefighters have a highly effective tool for protecting the towns and homes threatened by wildfires.
Working just like the super absorbent polymers in the diaper, Barricade absorbs many times its weight of water and forms “wet, sticky sponges.” These water-filled bubblets adhere to surfaces in many molecular layers – each of which must be evaporated before the underlying layer is affected.
After a fire, it washes away with water and is biodegradable.
The gel valuable to firefighters because it’s mixed with water using a 1-to-99 ratio, meaning little gel is needed to fight a large fire. Other fire retardants are mixed in a 1-to-4 or 1-to-5 ratio. That makes Barricade more portable, allowing firefighters to transport it closer to a fire quickly.
The gel works better than the foams most fire departments use because the water bubbles insulate better than air bubbles, he says .