Environmentally friendly product touted as do-it-yourself fire-safety kit to protect homes

Phillip Palmer Image
Friday, June 23, 2023
Eco-friendly product touted as DIY fire-safety kit to protect homes
An environmentally friendly, food-safe product is being touted as a do-it-yourself fire-safety kit to protect homes from dangerous wildfires.

Fire season will soon be upon Southern California, regardless of the region's "June Gloom."

Destructive wildfires have made it difficult for many to get wildfire insurance. But Mighty Fire Breaker's do-it-yourself home wildfire defense kit hopes to lower the risk of loss to wildfire and make it easier for homeowners to get proper, affordable coverage.

"We can defend every house if we can get chemistry ready to deploy before the fire arrives," said founder Steve Conboy.

Retired Fire Chief Jeff Bowman has the system on his property in Escondido. Although his grapevines are watered, his fire defense system stands ready.

It looks like an irrigation system, but separate tanks are filled with 100% natural materials to create a food-grade fire inhibitor that isn't used until fire is likely.

"You use it when the threat is close enough to your home that it's gonna be a real threat. You spray it, let the sprayers do their work, shut the system off and leave like the fire departments want you to," explained Bowman.

His property also sits next to a nature preserve, which means he cannot remove vegetation to reduce the fire risk.

"All I can do is either hope that it doesn't ignite and take my house with it or I can be proactive," said Bowman, which is why he chose Mighty Fire Breaker.

Fire officials in Southern California urged residents to clear out their brush to minimize the chance of sparking major fires.

A remote-controlled system allowing for deployment when the homeowner is away is sold for about $5,000. But an even cheaper option is what the company calls an "atomizer," which applies the product as needed. And unlike some common flame retardants known to use chemicals that cause cancer, Mighty Fire Breaker's chemistry is similar to what os used in medications.

"Find a product to use to inhibit the movement of fire, stop the fire in its tracks and have no carcinogens in it is really, really critical to firefighter safety," said former San Bernardino fire marshal and Mighty Fire Breaker supporter Peter Brierty.

Mighty Fire Breaker used a tabletop neighborhood built on sawdust to show what happens with treated and untreated areas. But a controlled burn in Colton on June 19 was a more realistic look at the product's effectiveness. A patch of brown, dead grass in a field of black was treated; the surrounding area was not.

"We need to save California. Save Cali is my program. Because we can beat 'em. We can beat the fires if we get the chemistry there before the fire arrives. And that's the goal," said Conboy.

It looks like water, but the company claims their biochemical creates a clear fire defense coating and saves water -- effective until rains come to safely wash it away.