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New Advances in Fire Safety Technology

Fire safety is an area – or areas – of technology that is advancing all the time. It is pretty easy to see why – it’s a matter of life and death! Fire safety technology has indeed come a long way, over many centuries, and in all, that time responding to all the challenges increasing urbanization has presented.

Today, there is everything from fire-proof building materials to smart fire alarms and computer systems that can respond to a fire threat far more effectively than any human can. And of course, it is far from over. New technologies are being developed all the time.

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Fire safety technology can always be grouped into two categories – fire prevention and fire response. The former of these is naturally the more preferable, as things are never safe once a fire actually breaks out.

Much new technology, therefore, is focused on this. In fact, there are scarcely any fire response technologies – sprinklers, automatically closing doors, firefighter equipment, etc. – which are not also in some way integrated into fire prevention.

Fire safety technology can also be categorized in other ways, too. For example, there is the fire safety technology for buildings and citizens, and then there are the fire safety technologies firefighters actually use. We can also split fire safety technology into that which is designed for places of work, places of industry, and private residencies.

The latter categorization also brings with it several legal considerations, as employers and public sector authorities are required by law to protect the occupants of their buildings from fire, while private residents are largely only responsible for their own safety.

Truly, fire safety and fire safety technology is a very broad field, and there’s much to consider. Not least all the innovative technology that is being developed all the time.  

Why Do You Need Fire Safety?

There is, of course, a very obvious answer to this question, and it’s not worth wasting space on it. However, it is worth looking in more detail at just why the latest fire safety technology is such an imperative, besides the fact that it is there to prevent property damage, injury, and death from fire hazards.

For example, fire safety is required in places of work and industry for two main reasons. The first is that there are so many more people to protect and the second is that there are so many more potential fire hazards.

We also need fire safety technology for the environment too. Indeed, already much new fire safety technology is all about making fire safety greener. This is not only because fires themselves can be a massive environmental disaster, but also because the equipment used to respond to fires can often be environmentally harmful.

For example, the contents of many fire extinguishers are far from environmentally healthy and, when sprinklers are set off, that can be a significant waste of water. The same goes for the water used by firefighters when they respond to a serious fire. One thing we see more and more of is “green” alternatives to many different fire safety technologies.

Fires can also be awfully expensive, for businesses and for private individuals. Of course, many companies and private companies often have insurance policies that can help with this, but a severe fire is unlikely to cost absolutely anything. Fire safety is also a sound business move – not least for which you can be fined for a lack of it.

The Legal Dimension

And speaking of fines, the legal element of fire safety is also particularly important. There are many different legal requirements for fire safety, depending on what type of entity you are.

It is impossible to give a rundown of everything you need to do because the regulations can be diverse and depend on where the fire safety infrastructure is being implemented. It is quite a different matter if you are responsible for fire safety at an industrial plant compared to an office, for example.

The best bet is to check the government regulations if you want an idea of what is required. But not only that but you need to also conduct regular fire safety checks and audits in order to ensure that you are toeing the line when it comes to legally required fire safety.

As mentioned, things are different if you are installing a fire safety infrastructure in your own private residence. But even here, there are guidelines to follow, and you can still conduct fire safety checks. If you’re renting a property, you also have legal recourse if fire safety is not adequately provided for you by the landlord.

The law and fire safety are intimately connected.

The Cutting Edge of Fire Safety

So, these are all the many considerations and dimensions of fire safety that are influencing the development of new fire safety technology. There is a lot that fire safety needs to achieve, and there is a big responsibility on those who implement it. Here are three of the latest technologies making that job easier:

Smart Smoke Alarms

In the past, smoke alarms could be triggered by any smoke in sufficient quantity to set it off. That means that a piece of burnt toast could set off a shrill piercing squall, waking everybody up at 7 o’clock in the morning while a cigarette could set the sprinklers off. Today, there are smart fire alarms available that can detect the particle size that corresponds to dangerous smoke, and only go off when they need to.

The Internet of Things

This is not really one technology but in fact many. Nevertheless, they are all controlled by a single AI and are electronically interconnected. This means that fire-detecting devices can communicate with each other, and the AI can know where in the building the risk is.

This can concentrate sprinkler water where it is needed (rather than flooding the whole building), for example, and it also has the potential to automatically contact the fire services and supply them with useful information such as building plans and information on the nature of the fire.

New Suppression Systems

What is more effective at putting out a fire than the deluge from a sprinkler system? Water mist! This is just one example of new suppression systems that can simply put out fires faster and before they spread.

And if you’re browsing the fire extinguisher prices and comparing the different fire extinguishers on offer, it might well be a very good idea to invest in one with a more effective suppressant inside and one that doesn’t harm the environment as much.

In conclusion, fire safety seems destined to become increasingly more effective – and smarter too.

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