While the basics of fire protection and fire safety, such as choosing the right extinguisher type and fire exits, remain the same over time, technological advances help make fighting fire much easier and more effective. There have been many advances in the last few years in the world of technology and fire protection as well.
Here are just a few of the new pieces of fire safety technology:
- Sound Wave Fire Extinguisher – Created by two engineering students at George Mason University, this prototype extinguisher can harness sound waves to successfully put out fires. As a chemical-free, water-free extinguisher, it works by separating the burning fuel from oxygen. This causes the fire to then die out. This new type of extinguisher offers a non-destructive option for small fires and would be ideal for use in homes. While it is not perfect yet, the idea behind this extinguisher could prove to be very helpful in the future – it could even save lives.
- Water Mist Sprinkler Systems – Traditional fire sprinkler systems use large droplets of water to put out a fire. Water mist systems take this idea a step further by using a mist of smaller droplets to create a larger quantity of them. This then creates a larger surface area to covert said water to steam, which then absorbs heat from the flames of the fire. The overall temperature of the fire is the lowered and it is eventually suffocated at a much faster rate than with the larger droplets. Mist systems not only reduce the amount of time it takes for the fire to be put out, but also decreases the amount of overall water damage.
- Video Image Smoke Detection – Instead of detecting smoke in the traditional methods, VISD (Video Image Smoke Detectors) detect smoke and flames visually by using cameras that are analyzed by a computer. Once the computer detects either smoke or flames, the alarm system is triggered while the computer further analyzes the motion, color, brightness, and contrast of the flames to assess the fire. This new technology can cover large spaces and is perfect for larger facilities or warehouses.
- Voice Messaging and Evacuation Systems – With a number of different factors to consider, not every fire is the same. New voice messaging and evacuation systems take this into consideration by giving fire protection systems distributed intelligence. This means that instead of one alarm signaling no matter what, the alarm system would provide voice instructions that are customized to the fire’s location so that specific instructions can be given if needed.