5 Technologies That Have Modernized Firefighting

Sound fire extinguisher

From pouring buckets of water to using tech savvy gadgets, firefighting has come a long way!

Civil engineers and firefighters are working in collaboration to make today’s structures as fireproof and safe as possible. The technique to design materials, such that they are as less flammable as possible, is a conventional one. Unless we make these methods foolproof, there will always be a danger of fire. Thus, improving firefighting techniques is an utmost priority, and today, we will cover the five most incredible advancements in modern-day firefighting!

1) Sweden’s futuristic firefighting helmet

[Image Source: Omer Haciomeroglu]
This helmet looks like some gadget from sci-fi movies, as it integrates futuristic projections and entails various technologies in a single device. Critical information like the temperature, remaining Oxygen and Carbon dioxide levels, brightness index, etc. are displayed on the helmet’s screen. This display helps the firefighter to make informed choices and take measured risks. A thermal imaging camera is also installed as an aid to visibility in case of thick smoke.

[Image Source: Omer Haciomeroglu]

2) Fire shelters made from space-age materials

The concept was first discovered in 2013, after a tragic fire on Yarnell Hill in Arizona, at NASA’s Langley Research Center. Since then, researchers have collaborated with the U.S. Forest Service to integrate their space-age technology to improve the odds of the heroic firefighters.

NASA engineers have created shelters of the thickness of a millimeter, with the lightest prototype weighing almost 4.3 pounds (1.95 kg). It can be rolled up into the size of a half-gallon milk container, making it extremely handy. The amazing fire shelter is due to launch in 2018.

3) Fire extinguishing grenades

1900’s “Grenade” style extinguisher [Image courtesy of Wikimedia]
The earliest fire grenades were round glass bottles filled with salt water. These bottles were thrown into the blaze in a bid to extinguish it. Today, more complex compounds, like carbon tetrachloride, have replaced water in these grenades. Although some of these chemicals have their associated disadvantages, yet, no one can deny their importance in firefighting.

4) Firefighter on Jetpacks

A Tunisian company has created a new turbine design that uses rotating fan blades and produces up to 1 kW of electricity in a product, called the “Biometric Wind Converter.” The plan entails carbon fiber wings flapping in a figure-8 motion, which gives the turbine a capability to move both up and down.

The idea was adopted by Dubai Civil Defence and is now, integrated into its ‘Dolphin’ system where their firefighters use jetpacks’ water pressure to move the vantage points in emergency situations. The system also comes with a thermal camera that helps in search and rescue missions, and is indeed, the most impressive addition to the high-tech armory of the firefighters!

5) Sonic fire extinguishers

This state of the art apparatus is known as wave extinguisher and uses acoustic waves to suppress flames instead of using any liquid or chemical. The extinguisher uses sound to extinguish the fire, which makes it ideal for usage. In summary, the vibrations of the sound separate the air from the fuel, which stops the oxidation process and kills the blaze.

What are your thoughts on these technologies? Comment below!

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