Technology Paper on Technology and Fire Safety
Technology refers to the application of technical knowledge, tools, and methods to operations and systems aimed at improving their efficiency as well as productivity. In fire safety and protection, there are many aspects of technology that have been brought on board for applications in detection, reporting, response, and firefighting. These technologies have helped in the eradication of fire incidents. Such technologies can be categorized into fire prevention/protection, response, and firefighting.
Technology in Fire Protection and Prevention
Emergency Escape Guides andMasks
Many casualties are caused by fire due to smoke and heat that disorients people, hence making it difficult to recognize the exit of the buildings. Emergency escape masks provide eye, head and respiratory protection from the irritation caused by toxic gases like carbon monoxide, and other particulates. The application of these gadgets is said to help reduce accidents and deaths among residents in case of fire.
Self -Illuminated Signs and Smart Escape Systems
This device emits light without external sources such as electricity. Even the eventual power outages would not impair its functionality. Their light is essential for showing the directions to the exits in dark enclosures. Thus, residents are able to escape the dangers of fire.
Home Fire Sprinklers
These water sprinklers are installed at strategic points where they can be accessed and can improve the chances of extinguishing a fire at the source. Ideally, they can be installed in the kitchens or other areas known to be vulnerable to fire breakouts. They can be switched on by a remote without a person being in the vicinity of the fire accident area.
Water Supply Systems and Fire Hydrants
Premises with adequate water supply systems stand at a good position for extinguishing or controlling the fire before it spreads far and wide. Hose pipes and fire hydrants provide quick sources of water that can be used to extinguish the fire. The supplies are often situated far or outside buildings and premises.
Fire Reporting and Response
The manner and ease with which the cases of fire breakouts are reported help in determining whether that fire can be controlled or not. Technological interventions applied have improved the detection of fire breakouts and reporting to relevant agencies.
Using Satellites and Remote Sensing for Detecting Bush and Wild Fires
Orbiting space satellites can detect signals of wild fire through thermal sensors while providing the geographical coordinates of the source of fire breakouts. With the precise location of such points, the relevant authorities, for instance, the forest guards can start fighting the fire at its source before it spreads despite the location being a remote one (Cowlard et al. 50).
Smoke and Fire Alarms
Premises installed with alarm systems and smoke detection gadgets sense fire breakouts and sound an alarm for a response from civil protection and firefighting agencies. In most cases, the alarm systems are installed by private security companies that have a central firefighting station. When an alarm goes off, the company gets notified of the fire breakout and the location of the incident. The responders prepare with the correct firefighting equipment, for instance, water tanks. The siren that sounds from the alarm system also alerts the residents to evacuate the premises.
Telecommunication Technology and Firefighting
The role of telecommunication technology cannot be overrated in the quest for fire safety. Improved communication networks enhance notifications to the protection and firefighting agencies; this can be achieved through phone calls, radial calls, and speed dial among others. Specialized telephones may be used in place of conventional ones that overcome the problems experienced in signal transmission while being used at the fire scene (Hu et al. 3).
Fire proof Electrical /Installations
More often, the fire outbreaks are caused by faulty electrical installations. With the advent of new technologies in the field of electrical engineering, fire proof gadgets help in automatic disconnection of electricity that would otherwise lead to the spread of fire to other areas. This technology involves the use of power surge protectors and fuses.
Application of Computers and Information Systems
The revolutionary computer science and technology provide a platform for practitioners and researchers to integrate and disseminate information. Through simulation models and databases, fire agencies can perform analysis and support decision making in terms of locating the fire stations and also ensuring preparedness through probability calculations.
In regard to accessibility of locations of fire incidents, the technology brings on board techniques for navigation and faster location that are described below.
Global Positioning Systems (GPS)
The GPS gadgets help in locating the exact point of the fire breakout, therefore assisting in navigation. The location systems minimize cases of incorrect destinations, ultimately leading to reduced wastage of time, and therefore less fire losses and deaths. GPS gadgets are mounted on vehicles and fire engines that receive location signals from orbiting satellites.
Application of Geographic Information System (GIS) Techniques
The application of GIS in the field of fire safety is immense. With accurate geographical data, GIS provides powerful tools for response time modeling, which entails the identification of possible fire hotspots and the nearest fire stations that can respond to such locations (Joo et al. 23). The location is often determined by accessibility in terms of roads and population density, among other factors. By considering both, it can be easier to decipher which fire station is supposed to respond to which area of fire outbreak. Maps made from GIS help in performing analyses that support decision making. For instance, by knowing the shortest paths to be followed, the maps guide the responders to the best routes to follow in order to reach their destination faster and easily. This has been very crucial in urban areas.
GIS has also been essential in eradicating cases of wildfire. This has been enabled through timely hazard identification, risk identification, and response plans. Finally, the geospatial techniques help in performing suitability analysis in terms of locating the fire station.
Other Techniques Ranging From Tankers to Building Codes
The technological advancements have seen the development of powerful water tankers with the capability of carrying huge amounts of water and high pumping capacity, causing water to gush out with high pressure for extinguishing the fire. The mechanical capabilities presented by such tankers have often enabled firefighting even in a far flung area with minimal water or no water connections. In cases where the tankers run short of water supply, they can easily be recharged by other water ferrying tankers. Other extinguishers include carbon dioxide and foam. The two are portable, hence making it easy to access far flung areas by road or by air. This enables combating the wild fire.
Use of Robots in Fire Fighting
Robots are mechanical designs that are aimed at doing what human beings can do. By attaching a fire extinguisher and a camera to a robot, human beings detect fires in enclosed rooms, for instance, within enclosed premises and extinguish them (Chien et al. 30). This is through the aid of complex programming capabilities that are enabled by computer technology and integration of other mechanical engineering techniques. The use of robots reduces fatalities among the firefighters.
Building and Construction Codes
Conventional building materials allow the flames to spread rapidly over their surface. Moreover, the ignition of these materials produces excessive amounts of toxic gases (Hu et al. 1). The modern building standards are designed in such a way that they reduce the vulnerability of such premises to fire breakouts. For instance, technology has often advanced construction materials that are not flammable. The wiring should be designed in a way that it does not exacerbate fire, which can be achieved through the installation of circuit breakers and surge protectors. In high – rise buildings, the non – uniform distribution of heat to the building can lead to devastating events, such as the collapse of the building (Hu et al. 2). The premises should be constructed in a way that the residents can access alternative exits in case of fires. The construction regulations call for installation of fire extinguishers intended for fighting fire breakouts before they spread out.
In conclusion, technology has played and still continues to play a key role in enhancing the fire safety. Yet, more needs to be done to enhance response and firefighting to reduce the losses orchestrated by fire. Ongoing research in these technologies helps to identify novel methods of fire control and prevention.
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