The mastermind behind the iconic masterpiece 'Mona Lisa' understood the profound perils posed by fire. Leonardo da Vinci, an Italian polymath of the High Renaissance, was the first person to create a fire safety system. He devised a water sprinkler system and installed it in a wealthy customer's kitchen. Unfortunately, the system worked a bit too well. When a small fire broke out, it caused a massive flood that destroyed part of the kitchen and interrupted an ongoing banquet.
Significant advancements have been made in fire safety systems since the unfortunate incident involving da Vinci. For the past 150 years, we have benefited from automatic water sprinklers. In addition, fire extinguishers have become a standard presence in buildings.
Modern science and technology continue to improve fire protection systems to make them more effective, dependable, and sustainable. Most of us are already familiar with fire alarms, smoke detectors, and fire sprinkler systems. In fact, there is a wide array of new and enhanced solutions available in the market. In this article, we will briefly delve into some lesser-known fire prevention technologies and explain how they can contribute to safeguarding lives and property.
Video Smoke/Flame Detection
Video Smoke/Flame Detection technologies are invaluable in emergencies. They provide early warnings that can activate fire protection systems and allow for safe evacuation. Traditional smoke detectors that sense smoke particles have their limits. Video Smoke/Flame Detection technology can be a great solution in their place.
Video Image Detection (VID) technology utilizes cameras and computer algorithms to detect fire. Cameras capture footage of the area and analyze the video to identify characteristic pixel patterns indicative of smoke and/or fire. When danger is detected, the computer sends a signal to the alarm control system.
What is impressive about this technology is that VID systems can be implemented using standard security cameras. Currently, this technology has not been widely adopted yet. However, this can be a great game-changer especially when covering large areas and rapid response is required such as situations involving explosive substances or high-value assets.
Water Mist Suppression
While water mist suppression shares similarities with traditional water sprinkler systems, there are important distinctions that make water mist systems a noteworthy alternative. Sprinklers consume significant amounts of water. In addition, they can pose challenges in areas with delicate equipment or electronics.
On the other hand, water mist systems generate smaller droplets of water, resulting in reduced water usage while providing a wider coverage area. The fine mist evaporates quickly, effectively reducing the temperature as it transforms into steam. Through displacing oxygen water mist systems accelerate the cooling process. Further, they create a protective water barrier on surfaces, minimizing the rate at which the fire can spread.
Smoke alarms have been significantly increasing the chances of survival during an emergency by providing early warning for evacuation. Scientists and technicians didn't stop there; They continued to improve the system for individuals who are hard of hearing. Now smoke alarms can incorporate features such as strobe lights or bed shakers to awaken those who may not be able to hear the traditional alarm sound.
For children, personalized vocal recordings can be used for better results. For example, by using the voice of a parent or caregiver, these alarms have demonstrated success in waking up sleeping children better. Also, they can provide them with instructions on how to respond to the emergency.
Big Data & AI
We can't discuss today's technology without Big Data and AI. There is ongoing research that explores the potential of utilizing Big Data analysis to provide accurate predictions of future events. If successful, these calculations could be instrumental in ultimately reducing emergency response times and dramatically decreasing the number of fire victims. There is rich potential for AI and Big Data usage in the construction industry. Reliable prediction can be drawn from various data sources including property information, location, building sensors, weather data, fire statistics, fire service deployment statistics, and population statistics. By effectively harnessing the insights from these diverse data sets, fire risks can be greatly mitigated.