Fire warning trial

Fire warning trial

27 April 2011

published by

Australia — Jalbarragup is next to test new Sentinel alert system

ALMOST every home in Jalbarragup is set to take part in a trial of a new bushfire warning system.

Two months after a small trial of the Sentinel Alert emergency warning system began in Yallingup, residents of Jalbarragup are about to assess the newly-created technology on a town-wide level.

About 70 emergency warning systems will be set up in Jalbarragup homes to test their effectiveness in alerting people to hazardous situations such as bushfires.

Member for the South West MLC Colin Holt welcomed efforts to enhance ways people were informed of bushfires in remote and regional areas. He was in Jalbarragup last Wednesday to hand out alarms to participants in the South-West Development Commission-funded trial

“It is wonderful to see a locally developed system being trialed in the south-west,” he said.

“I look forward to seeing the outcome of the trials and how such a system can be used more broadly.”

Sentinel Alert inventor Ray Datodi said the emergency warning system had been developed to alert people to bushfires but it had the potential to be used to notify people of other life-threatening situations.

“This emergency warning system has the ability to alert people to a range of situations in which lives are in danger, ranging from approaching cyclones to floods to fire,” he said.

“One of the best aspects of this technology is the fact that it has been designed to work even when more traditional methods of communication such as telephone and radio fail.

“It is able to do so because it uses a unique combination of satellite and wireless technologies to pinpoint and trigger alarms encoded with GPS.

“Once activated, the alarms will sound and display relevant information, such as instructions for evacuation, on a screen.”

South-West Development Commission chief executive officer Don Punch said the commission had provided a $95,000 grant to enable the Jalbarragup trial to go ahead.

“Finding new ways to complement the existing alert systems can only help to save lives,” he said.

“We are confident this emergency warning system will work alongside existing alert systems by informing people as quickly as possible of life-threatening situations.

“Jalbarragup is in a high fire risk area, has no mobile phone coverage, and will be an ideal venue for testing the emergency warning system.”

The transmitter and receivers bought for the trial through the South West Development Commission grant will remain with the Shire of Nannup following completion of the trial.

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