Fire safety training uses virtual reality

October 25, 2005

The 12-year-olds have heard it many times -- "Don't play with matches." -- so now firefighters are getting their attention using virtual reality fires.

Iowa State University researcher Shana Smith, an assistant professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, is developing the computer-generated fires to help teach children about fire safety.

Smith says the virtual reality blazes will be realistic, life-size and 3-D. But it will be safe.

Smith said she intends to create computer simulations of fires in an apartment building, home and classroom that will be used to teach children how to react to fires in the different settings.

"I think this is a very good application for virtual reality," Smith said. "It's impossible to offer training so kids know how to respond in a fire event by putting them in a fire. But we can put them in virtual reality."

Will a virtual reality fire scare the children? Paul Sandoval, the deputy chief of the Ames Fire Department, doesn't believe that will occur. He says the program will be all about teaching fire safety, not about frightening anyone.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Community of soil bacteria saves wild tobacco plants from root rot

Related Stories

Spreading risk for resilience in the urban system

August 12, 2015

First world cities have an unhealthy dependence on the "urban machine"—the modern engineering solutions within their infrastructure—making their inhabitants vulnerable to disaster.

Philippines' Aeta people 'beggars' in their own land

August 7, 2015

Philippine bush man Edward Serrano struck two rocks together and wrapped the faint spark in wood shavings, building a fire in much the same way Stone Age man must have done two million years ago.

Recommended for you

New Horizons team selects potential Kuiper Belt flyby target

August 29, 2015

NASA has selected the potential next destination for the New Horizons mission to visit after its historic July 14 flyby of the Pluto system. The destination is a small Kuiper Belt object (KBO) known as 2014 MU69 that orbits ...

Interactive tool lifts veil on the cost of nuclear energy

August 24, 2015

Despite the ever-changing landscape of energy economics, subject to the influence of new technologies and geopolitics, a new tool promises to root discussions about the cost of nuclear energy in hard evidence rather than ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.