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Fire

— Good Thinking

Sigelock's Spartan system re-invents the 100-year-old fire hydrant

By - June 4, 2014 11 Pictures
The traditional fire hydrant, that innocuous little cast metal tube with a hat, is one of those everyday objects that is so commonplace most people tend to overlook them. For over 100 years this life saving device has changed little in terms of design or functionality, but now an ex-fire fighter hopes to change all that with his next generation Spartan fire hydrant. Read More
— Good Thinking

Fighting fire with explosives

By - May 29, 2014 1 Picture
Building on a technique commonly used to extinguish oil well fires, Dr Graham Doig from the University of New South Wales' School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering is examining whether explosives could be used to fight out-of-control forest and bushfires by blasting the flames out of treetops, slowing the fire and making it easier to fight on the ground. Read More
— Electronics

New electrolyte could mean an end to spontaneously combusting lithium batteries

By - February 11, 2014 1 Picture
Last year, lithium-ion battery fires became a hot topic, pardon the inescapable pun, with both a Tesla automobile and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner succumbing to fires. In cross-disciplinary research at the University of North Carolina (UNC), a compound being studied to prevent marine life from sticking to ships may also be the solvent (and the solution) to keep lithium ion batteries from catching alight when they overheat. Read More
— Science

Lithium batteries could soon be safer, thanks to a material inspired by gum

By - February 5, 2014 1 Picture
Although high-capacity lithium batteries make many of today's mobile electronics possible, they do have one flaw – they occasionally catch fire. This can happen when they overheat, and their liquid acid electrolyte ignites and leaks out. Now, however, scientists at Washington State University have created a gummy electrolyte material that could make such fires a thing of the past. Read More
— Wearable Electronics

Digital positioning shoes keep track of firefighters

By - January 15, 2014 1 Picture
Disorientation inside smoke-filled and unfamiliar buildings can be a major obstacle for firefighters – and it's not as if they don't have enough to worry about already. Researchers at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm have addressed this problem by developing fancy footwear that allows firefighters to be tracked in places where GPS fails, including up to 25 m below ground. Read More
— Around The Home

Spruce Stove burns one long log, a bit at a time

By - November 20, 2013 8 Pictures
I speak from experience when I say that it's actually fun to go into the woods, saw up fallen trees, then bring the wood home to burn over the winter. What isn't so much fun is subsequently sawing the logs into stove-length pieces. With the Spruce Stove, however, you don't have to – you just continuously feed one long log in as it burns, sort of like feeding a pencil into a pencil sharpener. Read More
— Science

SafeFlame torch turns water into fire

By - November 5, 2013 3 Pictures
The pressurized acetylene and propane gas used in brazing and related tasks is highly flammable, and thus very dangerous. You know what isn't flammable, though? Water. Bearing that in mind, the European Union-funded SafeFlame consortium has developed a torch system that generates a flame using nothing but H2O and electricity. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

5aver combines fire evacuation alarm, lantern and breathing mask

By - October 24, 2013 2 Pictures
The thought of getting caught in a building fire is terrifying. Flames raging, smoke obscuring your vision and making it difficult to breathe, infrastructure crumbling, and you're trying desperately to remain calm and get out. The 5aver won't douse the flames, but the grab-and-go combination of lantern, alarm and mask is designed to help you find your way to safety in a hurry. Read More
— Around The Home

Former Apple VP's Nest Protect: A smoke alarm Steve Jobs could love?

By - October 8, 2013 4 Pictures
Say you're a former Apple engineer and VP. Now say you leave the company, but you just can't shake your hankerin' to take clunky products, simplify them, and make them consumer-friendly. What do you do? Well, if you're Tony Fadell, then you found your own company that gives boring and complicated home sensors an Apple-like makeover. After finding success with its Nest thermostat, Fadell's Nest Labs is now expanding into the realm of smoke alarms. Read More
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