Millennium Post

Fire & Emergency department set to bring 4 firefighting robots, 2 drones into fleet

Kolkata: The state Fire and Emergency Services department is all set to take a giant technological leap towards boosting its firefighting infrastructure by adding four firefighting robots to its fleet.

The department is also introducing two drones to get exact location of fire sites in highrises, which firefighters often find difficult to identify under normal circumstances.

"We have already floated the tender for procuring a robot and a drone. We have completed the necessary test run for introducing fire balls and are introducing 2,000 such balls before the Durga Puja," said Sujit Bose, minister for Fire and Emergency Services.

According to Director General of Fire Services Jagmohan, the robots are being procured for safety and security of the firefighters. "There is always a risk element involved during firefighting and sometimes there is excessive heat at a fire site and chances of explosion as well. The robots will come handy in these cases and will ensure safety of our fire fighters," he added.

A senior official in the department said that the fire balls will be effective in very narrow and congested places or in locked buildings where physical entry is extremely difficult.

These are used for firefighting in a number of foreign countries as well as in some other states in the country, particularly to extinguish fire in locked buildings.

"A fire ball, when thrown into a burning room or place from any small gap, helps in dousing the fire in ten to fifteen minutes," the official added.

The fire ball, which is smaller in size than a basketball but larger than a cricket ball, contains ammonium phosphate and ammonium sulphate. However, such a ball will not explode if it accidentally drops to the ground. It will burst only when it is thrown into a fire.

Speaking at an event on 'Electrical Fire Safety in Public Buildings in Kolkata' organised by International Copper Association India (ICA India) in association with Power Cable Alliance (PCA) and Fire and Security Association of India (FSAI) on Friday, Jagmohan attributed the majority of fire incidents in the city to some short of glitch in air-conditioners and called a credible qualified body of consultants for advice on revamping of electrical wiring of both residential and industrial units.

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