Burner Off: How Technology Can Help Firefighters

Humanity has seen the evolution of technology and reaped the benefits from it. Transport has become easier due to the invention of the automobile. The world is more connected than ever with cellular phones.

Rescue missions will greatly benefit from improvements in time efficiency. Emergencies are always put as top priorities and need to be acted on immediately. A perfect example is a fire emergency. This force of nature gives you only a short time before it engulfs a structure in flames. Strides have been made throughout history. The firetruck is an ever-reliable vehicle that not only transports firefighters but also serves as a contact point for water deployment. Some firetrucks have water cannons mounted that can launch a powerful assault on the fire site.

For trickier locations or anywhere a firetruck can’t go, smaller vehicles or those that can go off-road may be used. As a water source, they can install a firefighting trailer unit. This enables them to blast out water to its targets with high pressure. This will not need the presence of a fire hydrant, which makes it suitable for remote locations. If you are one who tends to a farm to spray pesticides, this has a few similarities to a 12-volt tank sprayer. Only this one has a bigger tank and more spraying power.

We have technology that has existed for a while and could provide assistance to firefighters. Here are three of them and what capabilities they can bring to putting out those flames:

Robots

These come in different shapes and sizes. They can be made to navigate different terrains. Most of all, they can be controlled remotely. There will be no human life exposed to danger.

These machines can also have modular features. For example, you can attach cameras to them—not just regular cameras, but those that can process special imaging like night and thermal vision. This will help the firefighters overcome visibility challenges as smokes get very thick. Aside from cameras, there can be provisions for extendable arms, water hoses, and other attachments. The possibilities are endless.

Drones

 

Much like robots, drones are machines that can be controlled at a distance. Another similarity is the potential for modularity. What makes the drone special is that it can reach the skies. This makes it a perfect tool to survey an area, which can be helpful in terms of planning. Decisions will be made quickly once the scene has been viewed from all angles.

Sound Waves

Believe it or not, sound waves can be used to fight a fire. A study revealed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agenc (DARPA) in 2012 shows the capabilities of sound waves in manipulating fire. At frequencies that are low enough, what the sonic blast does is moving the flame very quickly.

Think about it like this: a fire is strong only when its fuel source is abundant. As they say, there is strength in numbers, and the fuel represents this. Now if you blast the fire with low-frequency sound waves, it will quickly have the “crowd” dispersed so far apart from each other until they lose their fire.

Mechanics and acoustics will continue their evolution. More uses for sound waves may be discovered in the future. But for now, it’s cool to know that you can use a speaker to put out a fire.

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