Spain Spanish practice Eli-Gutierrez Studio has developed a tree-mounted alarm that detects the early signs of a forest fire to prevent it from having catastrophic effects.
The practice designed the Senticnel for the Spanish company Ntforest. Described by Eli-Gutierrez Studio as a “tool of defence against forest fires”, it alerts designated devices as soon as it detects any signs of burning.
It also accurately detects the location of the fire, enabling emergency services to get to it faster before it begins to spread.
“Rapid detection and a localised focus are an aspect critical to addressing the fire in the first minutes and preventing progress,” the studio told Dezeen.
“In this case, the system also includes protocol notices email, SMS and phone calls that are activated when a fire is detected to immediately notify the alert status to the competent authorities.”
The “pods” are installed on the trees, with five kilometres spacing between each one. Each has a sensor that is connected via wireless connection to a manually monitored computer programme.
When the sensors detect a fire, they alert authorities in a matter of minutes.
The system can then also predict the path and evolution of the fire in the forthcoming hours, allowing firefighters to plan the evacuation process and organise their resources accordingly.
In terms of the product’s design, its shell needed to be a soft shape to encourage water to run off the surface instead of getting stuck inside the device.
Other designers responding to natural disasters include Japanese studio Nendo, which designed a minimal emergency kit for those affected by earthquakes, and Brooklyn firm Garrison Architects, which created a full-size prototype for post-disaster housing.