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Firefighting

Originally called the Active Alarm, the Fire Avert is a fire safety device

The smoke alarm is a standard part of home safety equipment. But what if you step out and aren't there to hear it going off? The Fire Avert steps in where the smoke alarm leaves off, helping to prevent kitchen fires.  Read More

The HeatSeeker is a cooling mister that replaces the existing hose port cap on a fire truc...

Firefighters face many dangers, including burns, smoke inhalation and structure collapses. Because they're required to wear all that heavy gear while performing strenuous activities, however, they also risk heat stroke. That’s why firefighter Michael Robinson invented the HeatSeeker – a device that attaches to a fire truck’s existing hose port, creating a cooling mist.  Read More

SAFFiR, the Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot, is being developed to help put out fi...

If there's one thing that you don't want happening on board a ship, it's a fire. People on board burning ships can't simply run out onto the streets, as they hopefully could in the case of a structural fire, plus many people caught belowdecks don't have windows nearby to climb out of. Then, there's also the fact that crew members fighting such fires have to work in narrow, claustrophobic passageways, instead of wide-open roads. Given that fires are particularly possible on military ships, due to attacks by enemy forces, America's Naval Research Laboratory is now developing a special something to help fight fires at sea - it's called SAFFiR, the Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot.  Read More

Scientists have developed a vortex gun that delivers electrically-charged rings of gas, an...

While something called a “vortex gun” might sound like a device from science fiction, the fact is that they have been available as novelties for years – if you’ve ever used a toy gun that shot out a smoke ring, then you’ve used a vortex gun. Lately, however, scientists from the Ohio-based Battelle R & D group have developed one that could have practical uses for people such as firefighters, exterminators and riot cops.  Read More

The WISPER routers (top left), the WISPER dispenser (middle) and base station modules (bot...

Even though firefighting is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, firefighters still communicate using analog radio signals, that can be blocked by concrete walls. This means that, upon venturing into a burning building, a firefighter might have no way of letting their commander know their present location – a situation that could prove deadly, if they ended up trapped or injured. In order to address the situation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate has created a new three-part system that lets fire crews keep track of the location and well-being of every member of their team, all the time.  Read More

Chicago firefighters learn how to respond to EV accidents, using a donated Chevrolet Volt

As electric cars edge their way further into the mainstream, there is increased talk of how our infrastructure must adapt to accommodate them – networks of charging stations must be established, methods of recycling or disposing of their batteries must be developed, mechanics need to learn how to fix them ... but what happens when they crash? They may not have a big flammable gas tank, but there’s still a lot of electricity to be wary of. In order to educate emergency response personnel on how to safely work with EVs at accident scenes, the US National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is currently offering its Electric Vehicle Safety Training course to first responders across America.  Read More

Zaca Fire, near Santa Barbara, California, in 2007. Credit: U.S. Forest Service by John Ne...

In the last decade the number and intensity of forest fires seems to have been on the increase around the globe, with massive and devastating wildfires in California, Greece, Russia and Australia. The best tool for fighting these intense wildfires is accurate and timely information. Traditional airborne infrared cameras have long been a vital device for mapping fire intensity though their limited ability to find the heart of a fire through thick smoke poses a major drawback. A new radiometric sensor that works in the microwave range can now pinpoint the heart of the wildfire, even when visibility is poor.  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

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service is getting ready to trial a couple of firefighting motorc...

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service will be joined by a couple of new recruits from next month. For the first time in the UK, two specially-kitted-out firefighting motorcycles will begin attending small rubbish fires as part of a six month feasibility trial. In addition to the customized motorcycles, the Service has also commissioned new protective equipment for the riders.  Read More

The Stat-X First Responder – designed just for manhole fires

Now here’s a clever device no electrical, gas, plumbing, fire, police or first responder crew should be without ... if they ever have to go into confined spaces where there’s even a remote chance of fire. It’s called a Stat-X First Responder® and it only does one thing – extinguish fires in confined spaces really fast. If fire breaks out, you activate the aerosol-based fire suppression device and toss it in the hole. It’s clean, compact, cost effective and safe for the environment. Fires in manholes are rare but can be deadly without the correct firefighting tools to enable a trapped worker to escape.  Read More

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