Google cars drive themselves now, devoid of human assistance, and Apple watches track biometrics, among other thing. I’ve written before on the more-realistic-than-futuristic vision of robotics evolving into interior fire operations strategy, and we’ve all heard of the proliferation of drone technology.
What role will technology play in fire prevention in the United States and internationally?
In pondering that question, I reflected on the reduction in fires across the United States since the American fire service has invested heavily in prevention from the days of America’s Burning. In fact, over the past 30 years or so, some data shows fires have declined by 40%.
Technology has played such a significant role in most every facet of life globally, so it would be hard to not imagine that technology will further drive fire prevention well into the future. In fact, all you have to do is search for “technology preventing fires” and you’ll find many visions and ideas already circulating among various stakeholders.
Technology evolution will continue to drive smart buildings and structures with low-cost, high-technology monitoring systems that will remotely notify at the incipient phases of fire. This will enhance shave vital time off the recognition and response phases.
Additionally, the fire service must continue to research more fire-retardant interior materials and work with builders to address affordability and remove barriers to access for fire suppression systems.
Smart phone apps allow remote monitoring of homes and secured premises; imagine those same apps detecting early temperature or air quality conditions and simultaneously alerting and reacting to mitigate conditions.
The fire service must continue to evolve its role in prevention systems that harness the power of technology that focuses on reducing risks, early warning systems and advanced suppression systems at price points that allow wide-scale deployment. Where knowledge about fire dynamics and risk intersect with technology and prevention will drive future enhancements in fire reductions.
Like a public health venture that seeks to implement lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of cardiovascular, diabetes and cancer as scourges on our population, so lies that same challenge to the global fire service and technologies leaders.