Fire fighting is an age-old necessity that has made leaps and bounds since the early days of human civilization. Although fire has provided mankind with unprecedented comforts and the ability to perform a wide range of tasks, it has also been one of the most historically destructive presences throughout human history. We’ve come a long way from the humble beginnings of fire fighting inventions, and we’re really starting to see some exciting innovations in the field.
Amazing new fire fighting inventions build upon old principles, applying them in ways only modern technology can allow. These are things like fire-fighting robots and sound-wave fire extinguishing devices, stuff you would only think of seeing in science fiction. Some of the inventions we’ll talk about here are still in development, while others are actually currently in use by real fire fighters.
We’ll go over things like their tech specs, history of invention, and the implications they have for the future of fire fighting. First up for our list of 10 amazing fire fighting inventions are the ones which are currently seeing active use.
The Aerones Firefighting Drone
This Firefighting solution from innovative drone company Aerones expertly applies several innovations in robust drone design to create an effective fire-fighting drone. The drone uses a dual supply hose system which feeds water to the drone’s hoses and electricity to the battery for endless flight time. The drone can reach heights of up to 300 meters within 6 minutes, and is capable of airlifting individuals weighing less than 145 kg (~320 lbs). The nozzle can shoot water or flame-retardant foam at speeds of up to 100 liters per minute.
The drone is also useful for things like cleaning high-rise buildings and de-icing wind turbines.
Bombardier CL 415
The usage of Aircraft for firefighting centers around planes that are able to scoop water from natural or artificial sources, and dump their payload in a strategic fashion in order to combat wildfires. There are many different makes and models, such as the Canadian-made Bombardier CL 415. The CL 415 is capable of scooping up to 6140 Liters of water in just 12 seconds.
The water can be mixed with a flame-retardant foam before delivery, or simply dropped on an active fire at a high speed. The drop system works through 4 water tanks with independently opening doors.
Firefighting Robots (robotic firefighting)
This one is getting into real science fiction territory. Wei’s Tech company has designed a range of remote-controlled robotic solutions, including their explosion-proof Extinguishing & Scouting Robot. The robot is capable of shooting water or foam up to the length of a football field.
It can be remote controlled up to 3 km (500 m if obstructed), and has a robust track-mobility system which allows it to easily scale a wide range of obstacles. It can also carry loads for rescuing individuals unable to walk. The design is heat and explosion resistant, making it perfect for situations that are too dangerous for human firefighters.
The Elide Fire Ball
Although the name might seem counter-intuitive, this fire-extinguishing ball works by automatically activating an explosion of fire-extinguishing foam to combat fires at the source. They are designed to be safe and effective, and they can be placed anywhere that fire is likely to occur. The solution was designed by a former highly-decorated Firefighting commander from Australia.
This technology allows for preemptive firefighting precautions to be taken, and is also capable of addressing immediate emergencies by being thrown into an active flame. It uses environmentally-friendly ingredients, and is designed to extinguish fires near the source without damaging important materials or systems. It can be used without any training, and is effective against all fire classes.
The Skysaver emergency escape device is an innovative and easy-to-use tool for individuals trapped in high-rise fires, or other situations that may be difficult to escape from.
The Skysaver system consists of a securely installed hook and harness system that allows even untrained individuals to safely drop down from high-up windows and other escape routes. This avoids the need for emergency extraction by trained personnel, freeing up those resources for saving others in need.
It employs an automatic braking system to ensure a safe and comfortable descent, and is tested to support weights of up to 250 kg (~550 lbs).
The LUF 60 is a wireless, remote-controlled fire-fighting support machine. It can fire loads of flame-retardant foam up to 1,000 feet for blanketing many types of fires with extinguishing material. It also has emergency manual controls for directing the foam even in case of power source failure.
The mechanism employs a high-capacity positive pressure ventilator and a water beam fog to project flame-retardant material wherever it may be needed. It’s design makes it effective for usage in tricky situations, such as fires in underground complexes or other confined spaces. The pump is capable of firing water or extinguishing fog with a 360 degree rotation.
Hi-Fog Sprinkler System
In many cases, traditional low-pressure fire sprinklers require a lot of water to extinguish fires, and are notorious for causing water damage and being difficult or expensive to clean up. This can be especially problematic in places like luxury hotels where there could be easily damaged assets and significant profit loss due to cleanup time. Luckily, there is the new Hi-Fog.
This is an innovative pressurized mist system that is able to extinguish fires with up to 10 times less water compared to traditional sprinkler systems. It works by lowering the ambient temperature, cutting off the oxygen supply, and rendering combustible materials less flammable.
The Sikorski Skycrane
Another example of an aerial firefighting craft, this time in the form of a helicopter. It’s fitted with a 10,000 liter fixed tank of fire retardant. The tank can be refilled in just 45 seconds by way of a water slide, and the craft is capable of effectively extinguishing wildfires.
Although it cannot quickly scoop water like the earlier-mentioned Bombardier, the fact that it is a helicopter means that it can hover over wildfires, and deliver payloads in ways that a plane simply cannot. It is also effective for airlifting trapped or injured individuals.
Although this concept is still in development, a prototype has been designed by a pair of talented engineering students. Their sound-wave fire extinguisher employs directed sonic waves to cut off the oxygen supply and extinguish small fires.
The prototype is only capable of extinguishing small fires at the moment, but it can do so for a variety of different fire classes, and presents a promising development in the world of firefighting innovation
Automan Car Extinguisher
This is another concept that is still in development, although effective prototypes have been demonstrated by the manufacturer. This one is built for automobile fires, which can be very dangerous if the driver does not know how to properly handle them. This is where the Automan extinguisher system comes in.
The Automan is installed in your car’s engine room with magnets and a heat-sensitive wire. The extinguishers will automatically activate in case of fire, and extinguish it. This one is still having the kinks worked out, and is currently running a crowdfunding campaign on indiegogo.