Over a million preventable fires happen each year, causing life-threatening injuries. Engineers are developing advanced fire-detection devices to support individuals’ health and well-being. They may apply the technology to smart cities and create a holistic security system.
Using the internet of things (IoT), city developers can connect residential and commercial building alarms to emergency response professionals. The technology may improve response times and minimize social, economic, and environmental harm. Professionals may wish to assess city fire challenges before adopting smart devices.
Current Fire Safety Challenges
In 2020, wildfires engulfed the west coast of America. The fires moved through Los Angeles county and destroyed over 17,000 residential and commercial buildings. As climate change continues affecting the global ecosystem, individuals may experience more fire-related tragedies.
When Earth’s temperature increases, the evaporation rate rises. Water displacement causes prolonged droughts in various regions. Wildfires quickly expand and destroy properties, natural habitats, and the atmosphere in low-precipitation regions.
Containing fires is an important prevention method for future degradation. Wildfires release carbon dioxide, sulfur oxides, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides. The emissions contribute to rising global temperatures.
Urban regions may integrate smart fire safety technologies into their systems to minimize water displacement and biodiversity loss. Protecting the entire ecosystem is essential to maintaining abundant natural resources. IoT sensors and databases can help protect vital resources.
Rerouting Traffic for Efficient Response Processes
Firefighter response times significantly impact an individual’s safety in emergency situations. A small flame takes less than half a minute to become a large fire. IoT technology can track an emergency location and identify the fastest route there.
Firefighters can use the technology to improve their response times and protect other individuals in the area. Smart sensors may inform connected bridges and POV lanes of response needs. They can autonomously block roads and reroute drivers, making room for emergency vehicles.
Delivering More Information to Firefighters
Smart building sensors and monitors can also deliver essential information to firefighters. They may detect the location and cause of a fire, helping professionals respond efficiently. Improving the flow of information also minimizes accidents on-site, which protects firefighters.
Firefighters can additionally wear smart devices to monitor their health and safety.
Monitoring Firefighters On-Site
Engineers developed helmets and other protective equipment with carbon monoxide monitors. Smart hard hats contain sensors that rest on individuals’ foreheads. The sensors measure firefighters’ blood oxygen levels and determine their carbon monoxide exposure.
Advanced devices can autonomously relay the data to leaders outside a burning building. When the hat detects carbon monoxide poisoning, it may alert professionals. Individuals can proactively remove firefighters from a scene when their health and safety declines.
Autonomous Response Measures
Engineers also use IoT technologies to create autonomous fire response devices. Urban residents are using smart smoke detectors to improve safety efficiency. The devices inform residents and building owners of fires through a smartphone connection.
Individuals can quickly respond to emergencies even when they are away from the building. IoT professionals are also pairing smart smoke alarms with autonomous sprinklers. Smoke sensors can alert a building’s internal system of danger and trigger sprinklers to turn on.
The detection technology may also inform emergency response groups of a fire. They may respond quickly by sending a drone on-site and evaluating the fire’s severity. The holistic system can effectively minimize damage and improve individuals’ health and safety.
When Will Urban Residents See Smart Fire Systems?
Individuals are beginning to install smart smoke alarms and sprinklers into their homes. The technology reduces stress and improves security. As more cities adopt smart systems, residents may see more autonomous fire systems around them.
New York City is adopting smart sensors and cameras to enhance security. As the city continues to install connective devices, they may pair them with fire alarms and other technologies. Over time, the systems will improve the city’s safety and efficiency.
Jane works as an environmental and energy writer. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Environment.co.