This research has shown fire-blocking gel to be significantly more effective than either water spray or type A foam in preventing fire ignition or growth on buildings in many realistic wildland-urban interface (WUI) fire conditions. Results also showed that the level of protection of the gel depends on the amount/thickness and uniformity of it application. However, only one gel was tested, limiting the impact this information can have in protecting landscaping plants, structures, and those protecting them from fire. Further research is needed that will expand current results by investigating all major gel products on the market to gauge thickness and uniformity of application and the effects of these parameters on their effectiveness.
Significant uncertainty related to the effectiveness of gels and increase the safety of firefighters and homeowners in WUI fire environments needs to be reduced. The uncertainty mainly related to the landscaping vegetation size, plant type and configuration, as well as to the wetting agent, especially gel application thickness, uniformity, and type needs to be further investigated. In particular the research with the following objectives is suggested:
- Investigate gel application techniques and gel properties of various gel manufacturers in relation to uniformity of substrate coverage and maximum quantity of gels that can be applied on building siding and roofing products.
- Using comparable application techniques, compare the effectiveness in terms of the critical flux for ignition/flame spread of currently commercially available gels for fire protection on building siding and roofing products as described in .
- Investigate the uniformity of gel concentrate and water ratios using various applicators and application techniques recommended by manufacturers and used by firefighters and homeowners.
- Investigate the effectiveness of various gels when pre-applied at times longer than one hour.
- Determine optimal ratios of the gel concentrate and water to provide optimal amounts of the gel applied onto various substrates.
- Investigate to what extent dried gel can re-absorb water using different water spraying techniques.
- Provide guidance to firefighters and homeowners as to which product to choose, and how to apply it for optimum protection from ignition.
- Provide guidance to gel manufacturers to improve the application techniques for their products.
- Urbas, J. and P. Desai, Effectiveness of Pre-Applied Wetting Agents in Prevention of Wildland Urban Interface Fires, Proceedings of the 12th International Fire Science and Engineering Conference (Interflam 2010), July 2010 in Nottingham, UK, Interscience Communications Ltd., July 2010.
 Gel properties related to toxicity will not be investigated in this proposed project.