An extinguisher meant to be thrown at flames


ALTHOUGH active fire fighting systems, including the ubiquitous fire extinguisher, have been on the market since they were invented, fire-extinguishing “grenades” are something of a novelty on the local market.

Local company Flamoff Industries Sdn Bhd is looking to market their new bottle-contained, water-based solution also named Flamoff that acts as both a fire extinguisher and fire retardant.

The company says the concept is simple — a person merely needs to hold the 650g bottle, aim, and throw it at a fire.

The bottle, made from easily shattered polystyrene (PS), breaks and disperses the liquid within onto the fire, where a chemical reaction occurs, generating large amounts of steam and gas (mainly carbon dioxide), to retard and extinguish any flames.

According to its manufacturers, the bottle is fragile enough that even dropping the bottle less than a meter from the ground is enough to breakit.

The box that holds the bottle is made from polyfoam, which Flamoff Industries says is recyclable and serves as a protective buffer for the bottle.

The use of a Flamoff extinguisher being demonstrated.
The use of a Flamoff extinguisher being demonstrated. - Photos by SAMUEL ONG

Lorraince JL, Flamoff Industries’ marketing director explained that the company is still working on instructions in other languages for its packaging.

“Currently the box only has instructions printed in English, but we are working on a Malay translation and the Chinese translation is already done,” she said.

There have also been comments from early users about top loading, creating stresses and cracks on the bottle covers, although this was claimed to be a result of more than five boxes stacked on each other.

The packaging does not state the contents of the solution although company director Wily Wong and Lorraince says that the compounds used are environmentally friendly, and not harmful to human or animals and plants.

An unused bottle’s shelf-life, according Wong, is about three years, and even then, the liquid can still be used although it will not perform at optimal levels.

“You can even use the liquid, mix it one part to 20 to use as plant fertiliser,” said Lorraince, hinting immediately at either the presence of ammonia or nitrogen in the formula.

The company’s directors claim to have tested the compound with the Tianjin Fire Research Instittue (TFRI) in China, as Flamoff Industries’ first factory is based there, and the country is one of its major markets.

“The product also has CNAS (China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment) recognition, which is the equivalent of Malaysia’s own Sirim Bhd,” said Lorraince.

Wong and Lorraince are adamant that Flamoff is not intended to replace current conventional fire extinguishers.

Rather, they say it is to complement existing equipment, either in extinguishing flames, or clearing an evacuation route out of large, out of control, fires to safety.

“Many civilians, unless you have been trained, will not know how to operate a fire extinguisher, not to mention its weight, where conventional ones weigh in at 9kg.”

“Hence we created this as an alternative for young children and elderly people who can just throw this and let the liquid do the work,” said Wong.

Other advantages of the system, he said, are the long shelf life and that it doesn’t require maintenance, compared to yearly inspections by Fire and Rescue Service Department for fire extinguishers.

For this year, the directors state they intend to market 500,000 of these bottles, primarily for home purchases, although the company is also aiming at adding the product to other establishments such as hospitals and even the police and fire and rescue service department.

Each bottle comes with a recommended retail price of RM128.

“We are already liaising primarily with hardware shops in the Klang Valley, Malacca, Johor Baru, Ipoh, Penang and Alor Setar and the distribution channels are already set-up,” said Lorraince.

For Sabah and Sarawak, the company intends to establish a presence after Chinese New Year.

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