Technology has helped us in preventing fire incidents. Fire prevention is a proactive way of minimizing the damages or harm caused by a fire incident. It is the responsibility of fire departments which mostly have a Fire Prevention Officer as their head. The function of fire prevention is to spread awareness on how to take precautions against fire. Fire fighters, on the other hand, are assigned the task of extinguishing fires. Fire fighters are also dependant on technology to extinguish fire. All the equipments they use are the consequence on technology.
To sum it up, technology has helped us in preventing fire as well as extinguishing it when need be. Technology has helped us enhance our fire safety measures. Fire safety comprises of the precautions we take to decrease the probability of a fire that may be fatal, injurious to people and hazardous to the property. This research paper would analyze how technology helps us prevent and extinguish fire. Modern technology has given us many types of equipment that have helped us prevent fire incidents. In most of the buildings today a fire retardant material is used during construction.
There are also some electronic devices such as the smoke detectors. The biggest sign of fire is the smoke. Wherever there is fire, there is smoke. So the fire detectors help identify this symptom. These devices are also very affordable. Many building have smoke detectors in all rooms. It has become a necessary home security appliance. Smoke detectors are perfect for slow kindling fires but for combustible gas explosions modern technology has come up with the gas detectors. Smoke detectors are one of the most important fire safety devices.
Natural gas and petroleum gas are the two most widely used gases in daily lives. Due to their harmful nature and properties, any gas leaks could result in dangerous explosions. Gas detectors are continuously monitoring the air and they immediately identify the change in surroundings if there is a gas leakage. They come with audible and visual alarm systems to alert people of the gas leakage. Hence, appropriate action can be taken in time to minimize the consequences. Gas detectors are a useful invention and should be positioned where gas leaks are most expected.
Another example of technology that helps us in preventing fire is the fire alarm system. The fire alarm systems come in various varieties. They range from the simple manual alarms to the ones that give verbal warnings of any fire detection. A control panel, notification device, building safety interface and power supply make up a typical fire alarm system. The above mentioned gas and smoke detectors are the initiation devices that inform the alarm that a fire has been detected. Manual alarm system depends on people to detect fire and pull the manual alarm.
Some of the other detectors used are the flame detectors and the heat detectors. The notification devices help in informing the people to evacuate the building because of the fire. Many of these devices send a direct signal to the closest fire department. Some of these devices are built to give verbal announcements, and also a visual display for the hearing impaired. The most modern of these devices that are installed in large buildings also provide evacuation instructions so that people evacuate the area in which fire was detected.
There are various types of smoke alarms. They mostly fall in the categories of ionization alarms and photoelectric alarms. The former is better for fast flaming fire and the latter is more appropriate for the smoke fire. The combination of both these is the dual sensor smoke alarms (US Fire Administration, 2010). Wireless smoke alarms are one of the latest technological advancement as far as fire alarm systems are concerned. The wireless smoke alarm come in two different categories: Battery powered and Alternate Current powered.
The battery powered smoke alarm is just like a normal fire alarm with no wire which saves the families the hassle of wiring and rewiring. The AC powered alarm systems is much more modern and aid in increasing the coverage of the alarm system. So, many smoke alarms can be replace by just a single AC powered alarm system A fire extinguisher, like the fire sprinkler system, is an active fire protection device rather a preventive one. It can not help in cases where there is a large out of control fire. However, it is most appropriate for fires that are limited to the ceilings of the buildings.
There are two types of extinguishers: stored pressure and cartridge-operated. In the stored pressure fire extinguisher, the fire fighting agent and the expellant are stored in one chamber. Propellants are chosen keeping in mind the nature of the fire fighting agent. The nitrogen gas is used when the agent is any dry chemical extinguisher. Air is used when there the watery or foamy chemical extinguishers are present. On the other hand, in the cartridge operated extinguishers, the expellant gas and the fire fighting agent are in different chambers.
The cartridge containing the expellant is punctured before the propellant and extinguishing agents are exposed to each other. The cartridge operated extinguisher is mostly used in industries where extinguishers have to be used time and again. The benefit these extinguishers give is the prompt recharge. The cartridge operated extinguishers use compressed carbon dioxide whereas the stored pressure extinguishers use nitrogen. Fire extinguishers can be further categorized into handheld and cart-mounted extinguishers. Cart-mounted extinguishers are also known as wheeled extinguishers.
Handheld extinguishers are mostly used in homes or small workplaces or schools. The wheeled extinguishers are used in industrial sites, marines, airports, docks and heliports. They are much larger in size and bulky in weight. A fire sprinkler system comprises of a water supply that helps in extinguishing the fire. It is not a preventive tool but rather a cure. It supplies water with sufficient pressure just as the fire is detected. Initially expensive, it has become more affordable with the passage of time. Only a very few people have a fire sprinkler system installed at their homes.
However most of them have smoke detectors. Smoke detectors are very important for the building’s safety. However, the best possible safety comes with the installation of fire sprinklers. They do not just help you detect fire but unlike the smoke detectors they help extinguishing it and saving lives. It is very popular in industries but still is not very much utilized in residences. Smoke detectors and sprinklers work best together. Smoke detectors identify the fire and set off the sprinklers. Sprinklers supply water with pressure and extinguish the fire.
The only disadvantage of installing a fire sprinkler is that ones the fire has been extinguished people realize that all their belongings have been soaked in water. However this is a little price to pay if the sprinklers help save us our life (Smith, 2008). Technology has been a vital source of fire safety. Technology has always been a source of argument: some favor it, other oppose it. Where some people say that technology itself is the source of most fire incidents, others argue that technology has come up with equipments and devices such as various fire detectors and extinguishers.
The contribution of technology in fire safety can not be ignored. To prevent fire, technology has given us smoke detectors, heat detectors, gas detectors, flame detectors and a variety of fire alarm systems. To extinguish fire, technology has provided for us several kinds of fire extinguishers and fire sprinkler systems. We should all make use of such devices and minimize the damage that fire can cause us. Fire incidents are very common and it would be a mistake on our part if we ignore dangers it can cause. References Bellis.
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