Blocking Gel Frequently Asked Questions
What is NPE-free Barricade ® II?
NPE-Free Barricade ® II is the result of 10 years of research
and testing to eliminate nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) and
petroleum distillate from the original Barricade formula. NPE-Free
Barricade ® II has been approved for use by the US Forest
Service in a wide range of firefighting functions including
application by large air tankers, smaller Single Engine Air
Tankers (SEATs), helicopters using buckets as well as
firefighters on the ground using fire engines. Barricade ® II is
the first and only liquid fire gel concentrate that has been
approved for use by the Forest Service that does not contain
toxic chemical additives known as NPEs and petroleum distillate
oils. Environmental organizations have called upon the U.S.
Forest Service to ban the use of other firefighting chemicals
that contain NPEs.
Is NPE-Free Barricade ® II on the Forest Service Qualified
Products List (QPL)?
Yes. The Forest Service placed Barricade ® II on the QPL in
What are NPEs and are they dangerous to animals or humans?
NPEs (a.ka. Nonylphenol Ethoxylates) are surfactant components
found in some other brands of fire gel products. Recent
scientific studies have shown that NPEs have negative effects on
the reproductive systems of animals and humans in extremely low
doses which can cause birth defects in future generations.
Barricade is proud to offer the ONLY liquid fire gel that is
completely free of toxic NPEs and petroleum distillates.
Barricade is the only fire chemical of any kind to be awarded
the prestigious "Champion" award from our nation's EPA.
Other brands of fire gels claim they are safe because they
have been approved by the US Forest Service. Since NPEs are
Toxic, why are they approved for use?
Currently, the US Forest Service testing program that approves
chemicals for use in wildland firefighting does not fully
examine the potential long-term effects on future
generations...it only looks at short-term health hazards. Due to
recent research indicating the dangers associated with NPEs,
concerned environmental protection groups have formally
requested that the Forest Service cease using and rescind
approvals on fire chemicals that contain NPEs and other toxic
I was told that the material safety data sheet (MSDS) is
supposed to inform us about dangerous chemicals. Are these
dangers disclosed on the MSDS of other brnads of fire gels?
You are correct. The MSDS is supposed to instruct the layperson
about the dangerous characteristics of chemical products. Read
the MSDS carefully. If you see phrases such as "Proprietary
Blend" or "Trade Secret" in the Hazardous Components section,
they are probably trying to hide the fact that their product
contains toxic chemicals.
How can I learn more about the hazards of NPEs that are found
in other brands of fire gels?
Thankfully, it is quite easy. Simply "Google" the terms "Toxic
Is Barricade safe to use? What do I need to be concerned
Barricade is a very safe product. It will not harm you or the
environment. If you read the Material Safety Data Sheet, it
states that the concentrate can be irritating to the skin and
eyes. If it does get on your skin or in your eyes, simply flush
Note: Barricade is very slippery. The potential for slips and
falls is significant. Use the utmost care when applying
Barricade. If you are applying Barricade to your roof, we
recommend that you apply it from the safety of a ladder.
Is special protective gear required for mixing or
No. Special protective clothing and respirators are not
Can Barricade extinguish magnesium fires?
Tests of Barricade on burning magnesium alloy have shown that
the use of Barricade can greatly reduce the amount of time and
water required to extinguish a fire involving magnesium. Water
alone will not immediately extinguish burning magnesium; it is
immediately dissociated into hydrogen and oxygen, adding fuel to
the fire. The use of firefighting foam is also not effective,
because the air bubbles just add oxygen to the flames. But
Barricade Fire Gel helps to hold the water in suspension, and
can smother the fire with cooling effectiveness. Professionals
agree that treating surrounding flammables is a good first step
before attacking the magnesium fire.
Will the Barricade gel hurt the paint on my house?
On a well maintained home the Barricade gel will not affect the
paint. On a home or object that has not been painted in many
years, the Barricade gel will actually clean the painted
surface. This may cause it to look different from the rest of
the painted surface.
Can I apply Barricade to my hay barn? How will it affect the
quality of the hay?
Testing of Barricade on hay bales has shown that the hay is
protected from burning. The Barricade-water mixture provides an
outer coating and does not penetrate beyond that coating. Thus,
instead of completely soaking the hay with water, as in
traditional firefighting, only the outer portion is affected.
Loss of hay to water damage would be greatly reduced.
How much Barricade do I need?
This will require a little calculating on your part. Each 1
gallon container of Barricade concentrate will coat 500-700
square feet of area. The area you cover depends on how thickly
you apply the product. A ¼ inch covering is recommended. The
average home will take between three and five 1 gallon
containers of Barricade concentrate.
Note: When coating brush, trees and plants or creating
fire-breaks, the 500-700 square feet of coverage area will not
Where should I spray the Barricade when a fire is coming?
Barricade can be used on houses, shake roofs, decks, doors,
windows, eaves, fences, outbuildings, sheds, dog houses, log
piles, brush, shrubbery, trees, haystacks, cars, boats, grilles,
LP and propane tanks. Remember, it is not so important to
completely encase the home in gel. The eaves, windows, doors,
decks and wood shake roofs are most important to coat. Asphalt
shingles do not need to be coated unless a tree or some other
exposure is nearby.
Personal safety is paramount. Do not put yourself in danger
during the approach of wildfire.
Note: Defensible space is very important.
Can I use well or river/lake water/swimming pool water?
Yes, Barricade can be used with all water sources.
Once I apply Barricade how long can I expect it to last?
Depending on weather conditions such as sunlight, wind and
humidity, Barricade can be expected to last from a minimum of
6-8 hours to a maximum of 24-36 hours. The thicker you apply the
gel the longer it will last. We recommend that after its initial
application, you lightly mist the gel with water. The applied
gel is under-hydrated and it will continue to swell and offer
Note: If the Barricade gel begins to dry out it can be
re-hydrated by misting it lightly with water.
How thick should the gel be applied?
We recommend coating the object until it is white. This usually
means a coating of about ¼" thick.
How much reach do I have with the nozzle on the Fire Pump
This depends on how much water pressure you have. A pump
supplying 30 PSI will give you about ten feet of reach. A pump
supplying 50 PSI will provide 15-20 feet of reach. Our Portable
Home Fire Pump System should provide a reach of around 15-20
feet. 65 PSI (maximum working PSI).
Our Permanent Home
Fire Protection System, which is powered by an existing swimming
pool motor is likely to be in the 10 -12 feet range.
How do I clean up after using Barricade?
When the danger has passed, rinse the Barricade gel off with
plain water and a pressure nozzle. It will take a while to rinse
off the Barricade, especially if you have applied a very thick
coating. Basically what you are doing is over hydrating the
product until it breaks down. If the Barricade gel has been left
on for an extended period of time re-wet the gel and let it
re-hydrate. This will make it easier to clean off. In a worst
case scenario it may have to be pressure cleaned.
Once you have finished using either system, the entire unit
should be disassembled. Each component should be flushed
thoroughly with water until all Barricade residue is gone. NOTE:
Soaking the components in warm or hot water will make the
How do I clean my home fire defense system after each use?
Once you have completed using the Home Fire Defense System, the
entire unit should be disassembled. Each component should be
flushed thoroughly with water until all Barricade residue is
gone. NOTE: Soaking the components in warm or hot water will
make the cleanup easier.
What is the shelf life of Barricade concentrate?
Barricade can be stored safely for a several years. The
consistency of Barricade is very similar to paint as some of the
product will settle to the bottom. We recommend that you shake
it every six months. Barricade should be shaken vigorously for a
minimum of two minutes before use.
The manufacturer's warranty is for three (4) years against
defects. The history of users indicates that with proper storage
and handling, and with periodic agitation, the shelf life is
much longer than this.
For complete Warranty Information & Buyer Beware.
Does it hurt the Barricade concentrate if it freezes or gets
too hot during storage?
We do not recommend allowing the concentrate to freeze or get to
temperatures above 120° Fahrenheit. Repeated exposure to these
temperatures could have a negative effect on our product.
JJS Fire Supply is your source for all your Home Wildfire Protection needs. We offer a variety of products, including Barricade Fire Gel and Class A National Foam designed to protect your home from the destruction of wildfires. If you are a government agency or local municipality, please call for large quantity discounts.