#1414: EvacValves

Fire drills are intended to get building occupants to safety as smoothly as possible.

They tend to involve people delaying leaving their desk in the hope that the alarm will be only a bell test and the noise will cease soon. Then everyone joins the same plodding stream of people they usually do on these occasions. It’s not at all clear, though, that this process helps people escape from a real fire.

Today’s invention is firedoors which are unidirectional (somewhat like veins, which constrain bloodflow direction). These would be arranged so that the doors would have no handles and, in an emergency, would open easily only when people heading away from a fire pushed them.

Each door would thus have to be wired into the existing (fire resistant) electrical circuit for the alarms. Fire detection equipment would locate fire(s) in a building and block the opening of each door for anyone trying to move towards a source.

Fire drills would certainly be less pedestrian and be programmed to require a different egress route every time.

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