Bedford, MA (PRWEB) March 10, 2012
As noted on the Grantham MechVent website, hot dense smoke is a precursor to flashover in a building fire. When heat mixes with smoke, it forces a firefighter to crouch down on hands and knees to enter a room to perform search and rescue. This must be considered a warning sign that flashover may occur, as heat is the triggering variable for flashover. If the heat in the smoke filled room causes firefighters to crouch down near the floor, flashover may be imminent.
Rollover is the ignition of the accumulated gases that have collected at the ceiling level. This may start off as a sporadic burst of orange flames and build up in frequency and intensity to a “sea” of orange flames overhead. Again, this may be partially obstructed by the smoke, but it can usually be seen by those who look for it. The intense rollover condition, characterized by the sea of orange overhead, is usually considered a late sign of an impending flashover.
With all of the advancements in today’s firefighter’s personal protective equipment, it is still not designed to withstand flashover conditions for longer than just a few seconds. A few seconds may save a firefighter’s life if he or she takes fast and appropriate actions, but the gear will fail quickly when exposed to the temperatures commonly found in flashover conditions, between 1,000°F and 1,500°F.
Rather than send firefighting personnel into a burning structure to assess whether flashover is imminent, the Grantham MechVent™ allows the conditioning of the environment prior to entry by firefighters to reduce the chances of flashover by removing built-up heat and smoke. An additional benefit of removing smoke buildup is increased visibility, allowing a more accurate assessment of the situation therein, further increasing the safety factor.
Per Attorney Dave Karasic of Patents Etcetera, the ability of this innovative firefighting tool to clear the air in a smoke-filled room is scheduled to be tested during the week ending March 18, 2012.