The University of Houston’s Fire Life & Safety department, with assistance from the university’s Office of Emergency Management, are the new owners of a laser-driven fire extinguisher trainer.
The device, dubbed the Bullseye Digital Fire Extinguisher Training System, works by producing LED-driven digital flames that are then extinguished using an infrared-laser-driven fire extinguisher which simulates the behavior of an extinguisher.
The system can also sense the location of the trainee and determine if the trainee is properly aiming the extinguisher and correctly sweeping the nozzle of the extinguisher.
To make it more life-like, the laser-driven extinguisher weighs the same and even sounds the same as a regular fire extinguisher.
Fire and Life Safety Director Chris McDonald said his department wanted the high-tech training device because it allows them the opportunity to train UH faculty and staff indoors. Additionally, there's a bonus.
“It allows us to simulate putting out a fire without having to do it outside,” said McDonald. “Also, we’re not burning fuel outside, creating pollution in the environment. So, this is just a better solution.”
Furthermore, the device requires no actual fire or extinguishing agent, making it safer for the environment and requiring no messy clean-up. The device is also adjustable, giving instructor’s the ability to change the fire type, size, and difficulty.
The digital fire extinguisher system also lets trainees know how fast they put out the digital fire. After the fire has been extinguished, a number pops up.
“The number tells you from when the first starts to when you put it out, how many seconds it takes,” said McDonald. “A real fire is not going to tell you that, so, this is nice because it lets you know how you’re doing.”
The department received the device in late July and is itching to use it in training.
“It works great. So, we’re really excited to have it and really excited to get out and use it and let other people try it out,” said McDonald.
Anyone interested in obtaining fire extinguisher training, can contact the UH Fire Marshal's Office at 713-743-5858 or visit https://uh.edu/fls/common-resources/request-training/.