Built-in Intelligence option for all VIKING Fire Suits
Intelligent fire suits provide life-saving early warnings for fire-fighters in the heat of a blaze.
Esbjerg, Denmark, March 2012 – Marine and fire safety equipment leader VIKING Life-Saving Equipment has introduced vital protective technology to its range of fire suits, enabling them to detect if a fire-fighter is in increased danger. Every VIKING suit can now be ordered with an option of adding VIKING’s Thermal Sensor Technology (TST), which provides fire-fighters and those around them with clear warning signals as things heat up.
VIKING’s Vice President for global fire and PPE products, Jens Peter Kruse, emphasizes how deadly heat can be. “Research shows that heart attack due to heat stress is the leading cause of death among fire-fighters in action,” he says. “The special features VIKING fire suits equipped with TST technology are designed to reduce some of the factors that cause heat stress. Temperature sensors attached to two displays on the arm and shoulder indicate critical temperatures – both inside and outside the coat – to fire-fighters and their teams.”
Paradoxically, VIKING’s TST technology is partially an answer to a problem that arises because today’s fire suits have become so good at protecting their wearer. The heat insulating textiles in modern fire suits, together with other equipment, protect the skin so well against radiant heat that it is becoming a challenge for fire-fighters to detect critical temperatures in the critical minutes before they result in injury.
According to Jens Peter Kruse, “The difference between pain and a second-degree burn is a mere 120 C (21.60 Fahrenheit) increase in skin temperature. With that in mind, we’re always striving to reduce the risks of heat stress and burn injuries by equipping VIKING’s fire suits with maximum protection at the lowest possible weight. Now, integrating TST in the jacket gives the added advantage of indicating critical heat levels before it’s too late.”
The fact that these suits have been thoroughly tested in the field is evident in a number of advanced features. For example, if heat increases rapidly, the suits generate a warning signal much more quickly than if temperatures are slowly rising – recognizing that when things are heating up fast, fire-fighters need to exit more rapidly.
Besides their heat-sensing technology, the suits themselves are designed to be at the forefront of today’s protective fire-fighting standards while remaining affordable for the often limited budgets of fire services around the world. Each features a carefully crafted combination of fabrics and features for optimal protection, durability and freedom. Should an accident nevertheless occur, the TST-equipped suits store data in a “black box” inside the jacket and VIKING is able to extract valuable information to help refine fire-fighting practices.
All components of VIKING suits equipped with the new technology meet or exceed the current standards for fire-fighting equipment. The TST microelectronics themselves are durable and can be washed in a washing machine once the small computer/battery pack has been removed from an inner pocket. Beyond replacing the AA batteries, no further maintenance is required.