We sometimes see stories of firefighters’ sacrifices on the news. In order to fight the fire and save the trapped people, firefighters had to risk their lives to approach the fire or rush into the fire. Fortunately, a large number of new fire fighting equipment is on the way. With their help, the death rate of firefighters in the future will be greatly reduced.
Drones “open the way”
Forest fires can be said to be one of the most dangerous fires. Due to the principle of “hot air rising”, the air temperature above a forest fire will be abnormally high, up to thousands of degrees Celsius, which is high enough to “burn” most detection aircraft; and the range of high-temperature air will be greater than that of a burning forest It is so wide that the unmanned reconnaissance aircraft used to detect disasters can only detect from a distance.
Fortunately, not long ago, South Korean scientists successfully developed a new type of unmanned reconnaissance aircraft called the “airborne fire protection machine system.” This unmanned reconnaissance aircraft can fly at least 1 minute in a high temperature environment of 1000°C. In this 1 minute time, firefighters will use it to locate the precise scope of the fire and find residents in need of rescue.
Then, the firefighters will start to act. However, in addition to the high temperature, firefighters have to face the dense smoke generated by forest fires, which will seriously affect the sight of firefighters, so that firefighters cannot find the correct route for a while. This was a big problem in the past, but now there are high-performance thermal imaging cameras. This thermal imaging camera can be installed on an unmanned reconnaissance aircraft or carried by firefighters. Using thermal imaging cameras, firefighters can easily find high-temperature places in the forest, ignoring the effects of heavy smoke, and find the right way forward.
Now that the drone and thermal imaging camera have completed the preliminary work, the follow-up rescue work depends on other high-tech products.
Passenger planes and helicopters used to fight fires
In 2015, an American company called “Global Super Transport Service” successfully converted a Boeing 747-400 passenger plane into the world’s largest firefighting aircraft. Under full fuel conditions, it can fly 6,400 kilometers, while the entire North America is only 4,500 kilometers long from east to west, and the Boeing 747-400 firefighting aircraft can reach a top speed of 565 kilometers per hour, so it can fly in a few hours. Fly to any place in the U.S. to help put out the fire in time.
The Boeing 747-400 firefighting aircraft can carry 74,000 litres of red flame retardant. Compared with water, flame retardants can not only effectively extinguish fires, but also prevent re-ignition. Because the flame retardant contains flame retardant elements, such as ammonium phosphate, these flame retardant elements can burn to produce non-flammable substances, thereby effectively isolating oxygen and preventing re-ignition. In addition, flame retardants are often colored, so that firefighters and pilots can know where it has been sprayed after the firefighting aircraft sprays the red flame retardant over the forest fire.
The sporadic work of using water to extinguish the fire will be handed over to a specially made lifting helicopter. This helicopter can carry 10,000 liters of water and extinguish fires. If the water it brings is used up, it can draw water from nearby rivers or lakes, and the entire “refilling” process only takes 30 seconds. While the helicopter is releasing water to extinguish the fire, the firefighters on the ground will use the electric wave detonator to assist. The electric wave detonator is a fire-extinguishing auxiliary machine invented by scientists at Harvard University. It can emit a current to the flame to make the carbon particles in the flame carry a charge, and then repel each other with other unburned substances with the same charge, thereby achieving the purpose of temporarily extinguishing fire. , To help reduce the possibility of re-ignition.
In the process of extinguishing fire, firefighters will wear protective clothing made of Kevlar fiber. This kind of protective clothing is not only more resistant to high temperatures, but also impact resistant to a large extent. In addition to protective clothing, firefighters will use special materials delivered by hydraulic helicopters in advance to build the last refuge-fire shields to deal with the worst case of the fire out of control. The fire shield was developed by NASA, and it uses the same materials as those used to build rockets. The aluminum compound is lightweight and resistant to high temperatures. With a fire shield, even in the worst case, firefighters have a great chance of saving their lives.
Of course, these high-tech fire extinguishing products have not yet produced energy. For example, there is currently only one Boeing 747-400 firefighting aircraft. It will take some time to truly realize daily high-tech fire fighting.
Controllable impact rescue tool and robot
In addition to high-tech fire extinguishing products for forest fires, some high-tech building fire rescue products that are more closely related to our lives are also constantly being invented.
The well-known American defense technology company “Raytheon” recently developed a controllable impact rescue tool-a concrete crusher. Firefighters can use it to launch special blank bombs into concrete walls. The blank bombs will generate shock waves to penetrate the wall and cause the wall to “collapse” directly from the inside. Firefighters can rescue trapped in the fire as quickly as possible. People in the building. Although there have been machines for breaking walls for a long time, if you use a concrete crusher, firefighters will save half of the wall breaking time.
After breaking the wall, the firefighting robot developed by the London Fire Department followed the firefighters into the room. It can not only climb stairs, shoot water guns, but also move large objects. If there is furniture blocking the way or suppressing the residents, the fire fighting robot can remove the furniture; if the residents have gas tanks or acetylene gas cylinders (used similar to gas tanks, but mostly used for welding), the fire fighting robot can also They move out of the house to prevent accidents.
Fire is a natural disaster that humans cannot avoid, but with the ever-changing fire fighting technology, we can control the damage caused by fire to a smaller and smaller degree.