Fire safety equipment is something that many of us take granted until an emergency occurs, but the technology used today is much more sophisticated than the equipment used just a decade ago.
The fire extinguishers, fire suppression systems and other fire safety equipment present at the average commercial space may not seem remarkably different from the equipment used a decade ago. In truth, however, this technology has undergone a considerable evolution that’s resulted in fire safety equipment that’s easier to use, more reliable and more cost-effective.
One way that fire prevention and containment technology has changed considerably in the last ten years is the electronics and software used to automate it. Perhaps the most exciting development is the evolution of fire safety equipment into smart devices. Being a smart device means that they can integrate into smart automation systems and thus exchange information with other components, such as lighting systems, HVAC systems, cooking appliances and so forth.
Better eco-friendliness has been a significant movement within the industry since the 1980s. The greatest challenge faced was the reduced effectiveness and increased expense that often came with greener products in those earliest days. This technology has come a long way since then, and there are now, for instance, foams available that are completely safe for the environment and yet able to suppress fires as well as traditional foams.
In addition to making products that are more environmentally friendly, the industry is now exceling at manufacturing products that have no or at least reasonably safe levels of toxins. This has been a great concern with flame retardants in consumer products. Better fire safety often came at the cost of volatile organic compounds and other health risks, but now that industry is innovating products like halogen-free flame retardants that are much safer in that regard.
Finally, the manufacturing processes themselves have gotten more sophisticated. In fact, some manufactures have incorporated advances like additive manufacturing in order to make products that require less materials, are less expensive to make and are more reliable over the long-term. This has resulted in cheaper products for consumers but also safety equipment that’s easier and more reliable to use.