While having fire-extinguishing sprinklers installed at home can be life-saving in the case of a fire, these sprinklers are quite expensive, and most of us can’t afford them. This is where a new device designed by a high school student could come in handy.
Dubbed FACE (Fire Activated Canister Extinguisher), the device features a self-contained, heat-activated fire suppression mechanism that can be installed in someone’s home, wherever it’s most likely to be needed.
The inventor behind the device is San Francisco high school student Arul Mathur, who came up with the idea after moving from New Jersey to California, where he discovered firsthand how much of a threat fires pose to people’s homes.
“I heard about the hundreds of thousands of people who evacuated their homes every year to flee from wildfires, but I never thought that I could be one of those people,” says Mathur. “Finally, in the summer of 2019, a wildfire threatened to force my family to evacuate our home. At that moment, it became personal. I knew that I needed to do something about it.”
As a result, Mathur came up with FACE, which takes the form of a wall-mounted metal canister with an air valve on top, an air pressure gauge on the side, and a sprinkler head on the bottom. The canister is filled with a mixture of water and an eco-friendly fire retardant.
In the case of a fire, the flame heat causes a glycerine-filled bulb in the sprinkler head to burst. This would enable the pressurized water/retardant mix to shoot out the bottom of the canister and deflect of the sprinkler itself, spraying 4 to 5 feet (1.2 to 1.5 m) in all directions.
What’s great about the invention is that it doesn’t have to be connected to the home’s water supply or power source, plus it can be refilled after each discharge using a kit. On top of that, unlike a traditional fire extinguisher, it does not need a person to operate it, so it is effective even after evacuation.
FACE is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. In case it reaches production, a pledge of $99 will get you one.
Image source: New Atlas