Last month, there was a severe fire accident happened on the cable bridge in Yuen Long, resulting in the power failure in the whole Tin Shui Wai district and some parts of Yuen Long. The talk of the town mainly focuses on the situation of the impacted residential areas, but seldom pays attention to the fire extinguishing process. In fact, during the emergency this time, the fire department adopted the fire fighting robot for the first time and it is worth knowing about.
The France-made fire extinguishing robot is imported to improve the efficiency of fire rescuing actions, especially in extremely dangerous cases. Take the case mentioned above as an example, the entire cable bridge was on fire, and it is dangerous for the firefighters to walk close without knowing if the bridge would fall or explode. Hence, it would be better for the fire department to send out robots to help with fire extinguishing, investigation, and risk uncovering.
What’s so special about the fire extinguishing robot?
The robot used in this case has a water output of 3000 ml/min, with an output distance of 60 meters, it is installed with a high-resolution camera together with a computer vision system that may track down the heat source so that the fire can be extinguished thoroughly. Also, the fire department sent out drones to monitor the situation from above the fire. The drones can detect the gas type and see if there is any toxic gas, the camera installed on the drones may even produce a 3D diagram to help the rescue team gather more accurate information before taking any risky actions.
The robot can be controlled remotely within a distance of 500 meters, its waterproof design also allows it to go up the slopes or stairs, not to mention push over obstacles. In emergencies like typhoons or large fires like this case, the robot can replace the human rescue team in entering the fatal scene of a fire, as well as increase the fire extinguishing efficiency.
Innovative equipment for firefighters
Except for the fire extinguishing robots that protect the safety of firefighters during extremely dangerous fire scenes, there are now smart types of equipment that may assist the work of the firefighters.
A Swedish student invented a smart helmet called “C-Thru Helmet” that combined AR technology, which may project the critical information of the fire scenes for the firefighters. For example, the firefighters need to know the location of victims, CO2 level, remaining oxygen, temperature, and other related data.
The cloud computing system allows the data to be calculated at a high pace and projected on the helmet screen of the firefighters. Also, the thermal data, CO2 level, and other information will be sent to the devices outside the fire scene, so that the other firefighters will know if supports are needed, and send in more help to the fire scene when necessary. Hence, the fire extinguishing mission will be more likely to succeed, and the risk of injury for the firefighters will be lowered.
Technology for fire detection
Normally, the buildings rely on the sprinkler and the heat sensing device installed on the wall to detect whether there is a fire, and the sprinkler will then automatically spray water. However, when the fire level has reached the height of the sensor, it is already too severe, and serious damage might have already occurred. Thanks to the smart city development, we can now make use of computer vision to detect a fire before it is too severe.
Fire detecting computer vision systems are usually connected with RGB cables, which help the camera capture the indoor footage in colors. The AI will then recognize the footage and see if there is any fire detected. Based on the color of the fire, the computer may also categorize the type of fire, and the severity of it. Apart from triggering the sprinklers and the alarm, the computer system will also notify related departments automatically, so that the fire department may arrive at the fire scene on time.
Preventive technology for fire
The maintenance of fire precaution measures is important for both reacting and preventing fire. An innovative company developed a smart sprinkler monitoring device that was installed in the pipe to check the status of the sprinkler system. If the device noticed that some repair works need to be done, it will automatically notify the owner so that they may fix the sprinkler problems as soon as possible, before the fire occurs.
The smart water mist sprinkler system installs the sprinkler on the walls instead of the ceiling, allowing the sprinkler to spray water mist to the root of the fire, which is more effective to extinguish the fire than spraying water on top of the fire. The following video will show you how the smart sprinkler works.
With the incident of the cable bridge fire in Yuen Long, we have learned how technology has ensured our safety. Motherapp is also working on projects that make our lives better. We have also shared insights about our motto too. If you are interested in finding out, click here for the series that we have published, and contact us if you are looking for professional consultation.