Articles by Larry Anderson

Teledyne’s Handheld Laser Detects Explosive Methane From 100 Feet Away

A new handheld device can detect the presence of explosive methane gas from up to 100 feet away. For firefighters, the tool provides situational awareness, saves time, and ensures safety from a distance. Knowing the presence of methane gas enables a firefighter to deal with an emergency gas leak and to avoid a deadly explosion. Gas laser The Gas Laser from Teledyne Gas and Flame Detection can shoot a laser beam through a window, a gap in a door, or another common venting point to provide an in...

Charging Of E-Bikes And E-Scooters Represents Residential Fire Hazard

Electric bikes and scooters are a newly popular way to travel through urban environments. However, the nifty devices come with a fire risk that could be deadly. In London, firefighters have responded to more than 25 fires, involving e-bikes or e-scooters in recent months, some of them significant incidents with serious injuries. Lithium-ion batteries pose fire risks The fire hazards of e-bikes and e-scooters stem from their use of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that can erupt into flames....

Drones And IoT Sensors Provide New Technique To Detect Wildfires Early

This year’s catastrophic wildfire season reminds us of the need for early detection of wildland fires before they escalate out of control. Historically, tools such as satellite imagery and localized video cameras have helped to identify fires at their origin and to alert authorities. However, delayed detection and low reliability have been a problem. Cloudy weather can also be an impediment, and the severity and frequency of wildfires worldwide suggest that new approaches are needed. A n...

An Innovation To Prevent Explosions And Fire In Hydrocarbon Fuel Containers

Given the large global consumption of hydrocarbon fuels across all sectors, the associated risks are constantly expanding. The Allianz Global Corporate Specialty study cites fire and explosion as the largest causes for loss claims filed globally from 2013 - 2018. Fire and explosion Furthermore, fire and explosion are among the top 10 global business risks in 2021. More than 100 major fuel explosions have been reported, since 2019 around the world, most of which were avoidable. The risks are d...

FDIC International 2021 Review: Despite August Heat, The Show Triumphs Amid the Lingering Pandemic

Back in Indianapolis for the first time since 2019, FDIC International 2021 offered a full slate of conference sessions, hands-on training and equipment exhibitions. Attendance was down, but everyone appeared happy to be back at the show, after cancellations and delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Masking compliance was low, despite continuing concerns about COVID-19 and the Delta variant. There was little social distancing. In many respects, the show seemed back to normal. A highlight of t...

NFPA Report Highlights Progress In Decreasing Fires And Deaths

We are currently seeing fewer fires in the United States than in past decades. However, statistically, if a fire is reported in your home, you are more likely to die today than 40 years ago. Today’s homes with their synthetic furnishings and open floor plans burn faster than homes did in the past. Occupants might have fewer than three minutes to escape after a fire starts. Every 24 seconds, a U.S. fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the country. Nationwide, a civilian dies in...

Welcoming A New Generation: Millennials In The Fire Service

Given that the majority of today’s workforce is comprised of Millennials and Gen-Z employees, the fire service needs to up its game to attract these younger candidates into employment opportunities in an environment dominated by Baby Boomers. And the demographic trends will continue: Millennials will make up 75% of the U.S. workforce by 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. To attract Millennials to the fire service, and to manage them once they are onboarded, it is nece...

Correctional Facilities Present Special Challenges In Case Of Fire

Immediate evacuation is often the appropriate response in case of a fire emergency, but correctional facilities are built on the premise of keeping inmates inside. Such is the apparent conflict, when it comes to responding to a fire in a prison, jail or correctional facility. Fire safety challenges The unique characteristics of a correctional setting present challenges in case of fire. For example, how can locked doors be consistent with the need for easy egress in case of fire? Because doors...

Lithium-Ion Batteries Contribute To The Global Issue Of Waste Fires

A recent fire in a recycling facility at the Gaskells waste site in Kirkdale, United Kingdom, sent waves of smoke clouding the sky over north Liverpool in the early Sunday hours. Firefighters fought the blaze for 12 hours, and nearby residents were advised to remain indoors with the windows closed. A large quantity of waste material was ablaze, and firefighters used an aerial platform to reach some sections of the fire.  The event is representative of the challenges of fires in waste and r...

Understanding The Fire Performance Of 3D Printed Concrete Construction

The use of 3D concrete printing, also known as Building Additive Manufacturing (BAM), is on the verge of revolutionizing the construction industry. Advantages include more design freedom, better customization, and greater productivity, but the new technology also comes with risks and challenges. One concern: Questions about fire performance and whether embracing 3D construction creates greater fire hazards in the building environment.  Estimating fire performance Building Additive Manufa...

Hybrid And Electric Fire Vehicles Coming To A Department Near You

Local governments in the U.S. are embracing electric and hybrid vehicles in a big way, and many states have implemented incentives to promote adoption of the futuristic technologies. However, fire department vehicles and apparatus are yet to embrace the transition, largely because vehicles were not available that both meet the needs of firefighters and provide environmental advantages. However, fire vehicle technology is farther along the electric and hybrid path than some people realize. Elect...

EPA Research Examines Impact Of Wildfires On Environment And Human Health

While wildfires can be beneficial and necessary for some species and ecosystems, there are various negative impacts on our air, water, and land, as well as, subsequent impacts for human health. Given the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) mission to protect human health and the environment, the EPA’s Wildland Fire Research focuses on the impacts these fires have on human health and ecosystems. Examining ambient air quality EPA researchers are examining the worsening of a...

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