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International Firefighting Foam Standards

by Marcus
Firefighting foam standards

International Firefighting Foam Standards – What are the firefighting foam certifications?

Several certifications exist in the world of firefighting foams. Fire departments and industries generally comply with certifications applied in the country or within a specific industry such as aviation.

Firefighting foam standards attest that the foam meet specific criteria. It could be criteria based on the extinguishing performance such as:

  • extinguishing time on specific fuel
  • extinguishing performance via a specific mean of application
  • foam capacity to resist to reignition
  • performance using different type of water, i.e., fresh, brackish or sea water

But it could be physical properties such as stability of the foam concentrate over time, foam viscosity or corrosion. Certain fire foam certifications also look at firefighting foam composition, toxicology, ecotoxicology and biodegradibilty.

GreenScreen certification is the first ecolabel for PFAS-free firefighting foams which preserve environment and health.

Firefighting foam standards

Among national and international firefighting foam certifications:

European standards:

  • EN 1568-1 : medium expansion on hydrocarbon fires
  • EN 1568-2 : high expansion on hydrocarbon fires
  • EN 1568-3 : low expansion on hydrocarbon fires
  • EN 1568-4 : low expansion on polar solvents

US Standards:

  • UL 162
  • NFPA 18, 11, 150
  • USDA Forest Service
  • Milspec 24385…

Oil & Gas:


Civil aviation:

  • ICAO


  • IMO Circ 1312
  • IMO 670

National standards:

  • GOST in Russia
  • ABNT BNR in Brazil
  • CNBOP in Poland
  • GB 15308 in China

BIOEX manufactures efficient firefighting foams that comply with most of these international standards.

Firefighting foam standards
International Firefighting Foam Standards

What is ICAO foam standard?

ICAO is the acronym of the International Civil Aviation Organization. ICAO standard manages aviation foams used to extinguish aviation fuel fires and spills. ICAO fire foam standard is applied in the aviation market for civil airports and could be required by air forces.

ICAO standards certify firefighting foam extinguishing performances and burnback resistance. ICAO firefighting foam test requirements use kerosene jet A1 and fresh water.

Depending on the size of the test pan and the application rate achieved, ICAO fire foams are ranked in different levels.

ICAO firefighting foam categories and requirements:

  • ICAO level A: 2.8m² test pan with foam application rate 4.1l/min/m²
  • ICAO level B: 4.5m² test pan with foam application rate 2.5l/min/m²
  • ICAO level C: 7.32m² test pan with foam application rate 1.75l/min/m²

For further information on ICAO firefighting foam standard, please visit the ICAO website.

Discover BIOEX range of ICAO approved firefighting foams for aviation applications (ARFF vehicles, aircraft hangars…). BIOFILM is a C6 AFFF concentrate foam solution ICAO level C foam. BIOFILM is usable at 3% or 6% on hydrocarbon fire.

ECOPOL A+ is a class B fluorine-free foam, ICAO Performance Level B foam, usable at 3% or 6% on hydrocarbon fires. See ECOPOL A+ fluorine-free foam performances on aircraft fire.

For more information visit BIOEX.

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