No matter how much time goes by, fire remains one of humanity’s greatest dreads. It’s funny, in a way, to think that we are on the brink of making the first steps in colonization of space, but we still share the same fear of fire with our caveman ancestors. But fire is not something to be joked with. During the last year it took more than 3,280 civilian lives and caused $14.3 billion in property damage in the United States alone. So, is the advanced tech that is reshaping the face of mankind able to finally put an end to this threat? Let’s see if we can find out.
Video Image Smoke Detection
Video Image Smoke Detection (VISD) is one of the examples that changes for the better are truly possible. Using the cutting edge tech to analyze video images provided by regular surveillance cameras, VISD technology makes up for most of the flaws of the traditional smoke detectors that, although irreplaceable, are not so practical in large, open spaces. One of VISD’s greatest advantages, however, is that it detects fire in its source, and has nothing to do with the airflow in the area.
Audible Exit Point Notification
In an emergent situation fast and efficient evacuation is critical. Unfortunately, traditional exit signs and evacuation diagrams are not always clear enough and can very easily end up lost in the overall stir. Exit Point Audible Notification is one of the products aimed at solving this issue. Essentially, Exit Point uses directional sound devices to produce audible characteristics that allow human ear to determine the direction the sound is coming from and follow its source. This way, even the people whose sight is impaired are able to follow the evacuation directions.
Sure, calling water mist “emerging” isn’t doing the term any justice since we have seen the implementation of water mist ever since the 80’s. But the progress is being made, and new breed of high pressure water mist systems is finally moving the technology outside industrial halls and into more sensitive environments like museums, hotels, and data centers. The advantages of water mist systems over traditional sprinklers include lower requirement for storage tank capacity, low maintenance and concealed spray nozzles, so it’s safe to say we will continue to see them more and more as time goes by.
Different Kind of Fire Extinguisher
A fire extinguisher makes an essential part of firefighting equipment so any progress in this department is long overdue. That, however, doesn’t mean that there is no progress at all. Researchers are finally finding a way to produce fully functional handheld sound wave fire extinguisher. The possibilities of being used together with remotely controlled drones is truly exciting. Although the current price point of $600 per unit still keeps sound wave fire extinguisher far from commercial availability, we can put our bet that they will further diversify the current fire extinguisher chart very soon.
Early Suppression Fast Response Fire Sprinkler System
The only true heavyweight on this list Early Suppression Fast Response (ESFR) system saves the day when all the other measures prove ineffective. Unloading a very high volume of water, ESFR does not only control fire like traditional sprinkler systems, but it suppresses fire shrinking it back to the point of origin. Also, unlike standard in-rack systems that can be rendered ineffective by just one misplaced pallet load and require expensive pipe reconfiguration when rearranged, ESFR systems are ceiling mounted so they are virtually immune to these child diseases. High water usage remains a persistent problem, though.
As we can see, although changes are not drastic and radical, the progress in firefighting technology is being made. Sure, more time needs to pass until we can finally say we are not afraid of fire but the current signs show us the future we cannot help but look up for.