At least three U.S. airlines are adding new fire suppression equipment to fleets in case a cellphone or laptop battery overheats, catches on fire and can't be extinguished. The first airline to deploy fire containment bags on its entire fleet was Alaska Airlines.
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Victoria McCartney, a master's student at Ottawa's Carleton University, has developed a modular, flat pack shelter that is easily erected and reusable.
Stanford University's research team has designed a lithium-ion battery that contains the flame retardant triphenyl phosphate inside a shell. The shell melts when the temperature reaches 150C, releasing the chemical compound. In tests battery fires were extinguished in 0.4 seconds.
The Greeley, Colorado Fire Department is using a crew consisting of a paramedic, a crisis intervention counselor and social workers to help deal with a growing problem of 911 calls that are not emergencies. Squad 1 responds in a Chevy Suburban rather than a fire truck and their focus is securing long-term services and/or substance abuse help for prolific 911 callers.
The Tuscany Fire Station, officially opened in September, is designed as a community hub that includes an outdoor public fitness facility, community meeting rooms and satellite offices for city employees.
Surrey's Fire Chief, Len Garis, has suggested reducing the size of fire hydrant no parking spaces by half would allow firefighters appropriate access while dramatically increasing the number of street parking spaces in Metro Vancouver.
Sault Ste. Marie Fire Chief Mike Figliola reports a realignment of fire services has had a positive impact on ambulance calls. The number of on-duty firefighters at any time has been lowered and paramedics and paramedic supervisors have been hired as part of the plan.
Reseachers at McMaster University have come up with a motion-activated, fire-proof sensor that can track firefighters and others working in environments where they are not easily seen. (Thanks to Chief Janine Caldbeck of the Thetis Island Fire Department for suggesting this story for FireWatch.)
Menlo Park firefighters have been testing a mask that outlines all the objects in a room, allowing them to see through smoke.
After Hamilton's fire chief warned a user fee could deter people from calling for help city officials have decided not to charge for rope rescues at local waterfalls. Instead they will look into creating a map of trouble spots on the Niagara Escarpment, where numerous rope rescues took place last year.
When the Scorpion Fire put the Gold Butte Lookout in danger firefighters wrapped the historic structure in fire-resistant material.
Kamloops Fire Rescue is the first in the province to implement Next Generation 911, which could eventually allow residents to text or share photos or videos in an emergency situation.
Nova Scotia fire departments have responded with new safety measures after a firefighter died as a result of an incident during training that involved a fire extinguisher.
When cases of children 12 and under setting fires escalated in Regina the fire department, working with community partners, introduced a new intervention approach that has reduced the number of fires set by children to record lows.
In a unique residential facility in Maryland, firefighters suffering from PTSD, depression, substance abuse and other disorders developed on the job are being treated among their own in a place created to make them feel comfortable opening up about their problems.
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