Fire-fighting is a very dangerous task, so personal protection is very important. This is why the fire brigades are always in need of better protective equipment, head protection is one of them. There are still some problems with the current head protection gear: concerning fit, ergonomics, hearing, communications and compatibility with breathing protection. Moreover, all the devices used to protect the fire-fighter's head (helmet, breathing mask and apparatus, neck protector) and body (protective clothing) are still thought of as being separate things. The whole concept is actually ready for revision. Besides integrating all the parts of head protection, there are also various kinds of new technologies that are obviously suitable for integration with a complete Head Protection System (HPS). These new technologies can be found in the information & communication, telemetric, vision assistance and medical fields. Industrial objectives and research/technical activities: The aim of this CRAFT project is to develop a modular system solution to integrate different means of direct head protection: helmet, goggles, face-shield, breathing-mask and neck protector. Thereby researching on new materials (light weight, better protection properties against mechanical, thermal, electrical and chemical risks) and ergonomic aspects (comfortable fit, hearing). This will be done in Research part A. With the modular design in mind we intend to create options to integrate several types of new equipment/technologies into the new HPS, namely: small digital communication set (audio, visual and data) and electronic interfaces for sensor units warning against excessive danger and information providers (on ambient temperature, radiant heat, breathable air left and explosion danger). The research for this will be done in Research part B. The results from the research in part A and B will be translated into production prototype for the new HPS research part C. The research for the new fire HPS will yield increased safety for fire-fighters, knowledge on materials that withstand the harsh fire- fighting conditions and conform to the strict requirements of the European Standard EN443, and knowledge on electronic interfaces and sensor technology for use in fire conditions. Economic objectives: With the new HPS the proposers will first be aiming at top segment in the fire-fighting HPS market. Innovative/professional users will be able to afford a higher price for the extra quality the new HPS offers and have enough knowledge to use the product. The proposers hope to gain market share and a significant return on their investment Social objectives: The new HPS will have three main social benefits. First of all the safety and the workload of the individual fireman will be improved (so safer working conditions). Second the rescue of people and animals will be more effective. Third the repression of fire will be done more effectively and efficiently which reduces economic damage.
Funding SchemeCRS - Cooperative research contracts
01390 St André De Corcy
3113 AK Schiedam
2600 GB Delft