Introducing the Gizmag Store

Fire

The NIST Dragon is a device that creates burning embers, to test how well building materia...

Thousands of people were left homeless this May, when over 40 percent of the town of Slave Lake, Alberta, Canada was destroyed by a wildfire that started in the adjacent forest. This is just one example of the devastation that can result when fires occur in what is known as the wildland-urban interface. While some buildings are destroyed when the wildfire itself reaches them, others can catch fire due to wind-borne embers from that fire. In an effort to test how well wooden decks are able to resist such embers, America's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) created something known as the Dragon - it's a device that sucks in tree mulch, and "breathes" it out as firebrands.  Read More

The FireText Smoke Alarm features a SIM card slot to let it send a text message when it de...

Smoke alarms are great for alerting people that a fire has broken out so they can get out of harm’s way and alert the authorities. But what happens if there’s no one home when a fire breaks out. Sure, you could rely on your neighbors to raise the alarm, but by that point your house and its precious contents will likely be well ablaze. The FireText Smoke Alarm will let you know if your house is going up in smoke wherever you may be by sending a text message to up to four mobile phone numbers as soon as it detects smoke.  Read More

Scientists have developed a device that uses beams of electricity to extinguish flames(Pho...

It’s certainly an established fact that electricity can cause fires, but today a group of Harvard scientists presented their research on the use of electricity for fighting fires. In a presentation at the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, Dr. Ludovico Cademartiri told of how they used a unique device to shoot beams of electricity at an open flame over one foot tall. Almost immediately, he said, the flame was extinguished. On a larger scale, such a system would minimize the amount of water that needed to be sprayed into burning buildings, both saving water and limiting water damage to those buildings.  Read More

Teijin's new lightweight firefighting suit

Japanese manufacturer Teijin, in cooperation with firefighting apparel maker Akao Co. Ltd., has announced the development of new firefighting suit that reportedly sets new world standards in both protection from extreme heat and lightweight wearability. Made from TRIPROTECH aramid fibers, Teijin's new suit consists of multiple key layers with even more clever monikers to boot, like GBARRIERLIGHT, TECHWAVE, and TECHNORA. The technical details of the layers' composition are somewhat hairy, but the upshot is that Teijin's improved aramid fibers have resulted in a firefighting suit that weights only 2.5 kg (5.5 lbs) and is 60 percent more effective in preventing burns than the company's prior lightweight suits.  Read More

Lithium-ion batteries sometimes catch fire, due to lithium particle accumulations (Photo: ...

It’s probably safe to say that just about everyone is impressed with the incredible performance offered by lithium-ion batteries. They make our cell phones and laptops viable for real-world use and will be powering just about every electric vehicle on the road. These batteries do have one problem however: they sometimes catch fire. That’s not good. Fortunately, scientists at Cambridge University think they’re on the road to solving this problem - a new technique allows them to “see” the chemistry at work inside batteries.  Read More

The power pack packs clips easily to the exterior when removed to create a cook stove that...

Consider the humble camping stove. It requires fuel - perhaps some unwieldy bottle that air carriers object strongly to. Maybe it needs batteries to run a fan, or billows out smoke so you smell like smoked sweatshirt for the rest of the trip. The solution might be the BioLite stove - it's a collapsible wood-burning cook stove that uses almost any forest-found fuel and converts its own heat energy into electricity to achieve efficient combustion with ultra-low emissions.  Read More

The LintAlert lets homeowners know when their clothes dryer is becoming a fire hazard and ...

According to the US Fire Administration more than 40 clothes dryers catch fire in the U.S. every day. Annually between 2002 and 2004 clothes dryers were involved in an estimated 15,600 structure fires, fifteen deaths, 400 injuries, and US$99 million in direct property damage. One of the main culprits in dryer-related fires is lint. As it builds up it restricts airflow, not only creating a fire hazard, but also wasting energy. The LintAlert combats this needless destruction and waste of electricity by alerting homeowners to any blockage or restriction in the vent system of the dryer.  Read More

The Firescuba is a cardboard cup-shaped device that, when fitted, allows users to breathe ...

It might look like a McDonald’s fries packet, but the Firescuba concept is nothing to be laughed at if it keeps you alive until help arrives. Smoke inhalation is the major cause of most fire-related injuries and deaths so if this device with its carbon filter lets you breathe through smoke, it’s probably worth carrying one around with you or keeping one within reach at home.  Read More

Liam Ferguson of Monash University has been shortlisted for an Australian Design Award for...

Wildfire is one of the few natural disasters that we are at all equipped to combat, but when it takes a ferocious hold we are often able to do little more than limit the spread. Responding to a need for better equipment at the front line, AMATOYA is a concept fire reconnaissance buggy designed to improve vehicle and crew safety while maintaining off road capabilities and delivering better fire suppression technology in the critical initial response phase  Read More

Australia's major telco, Telstra, has commissioned a Mobile Exchange on Wheels (MEOW) to h...

Devastating wildfires are burning around the Mediterranean this summer and down south, Australia is still recovering from its worst wildfire season in history in which more than 150 lives and 1800 homes were lost on ‘Black Saturday’. Telecommunications are paramount to helping save lives and direct fire-fighting efforts in wildfires but unfortunately, infrastructure such as mobile and fixed line phones and Internet services are often early casualties in fire ravaged areas. The country’s major telco, Telstra, has launched a portable solution to this issue with the unveiling of a AUD$200,000 Mobile Exchange on Wheels (MEOW) which can be quickly deployed to provide temporary fixed-line communications including broadband.  Read More

Looking for something? Search our 26,464 articles