'Smart' Buildings to Guide Future First Responders

November 3, 2005

NIST researchers are studying how "intelligent" building systems can be used by firefighters, police and other first responders to accurately assess emergency conditions in real-time. One of the biggest problems faced by first responders is a lack of accurate information. Where is the fire within the building? How big is it? Are there flammable chemicals stored nearby?

NIST is working with industry to develop standards to allow manufacturers to create intelligent building systems that use various types of communication networks (including wireless networks) to assist first responders in assessing and mitigating emergencies. The systems would send information such as building floor plans and data from motion, heat, biochemical and other sensors and video cameras directly to fire and police dispatchers who then can communicate detailed information about the scene to first responders.

NIST recently released video presentations that demonstrate how an “Intelligent Building Response” program would work. The videos outline team efforts to create a system of interoperable data content and communications standards that would link first responders with "intelligent" building systems. Firefighters are shown using laptops to track the spread of a developing fire on a floor plan even before reaching the scene. Other real-time building sensor information includes status information concerning a specific building’s mechanical systems, elevators, lighting, security system and fire systems, the locations of building occupants, and temperature and smoke conditions.

Source: NIST

Explore further: Proposed standards for triboelectric nanogenerators could facilitate comparisons

Related Stories

Simulation of chiral edge states in a quantum system

September 25, 2015

Researchers in Florence and Innsbruck have simulated a physical phenomenon in an atomic quantum gas that can also be observed at the edge of some condensed matter systems: chiral currents. The scientists have published the ...

Recommended for you

What are white holes?

October 9, 2015

Black holes are created when stars die catastrophically in a supernova. So what in the universe is a white hole?

Horn of Africa drying ever faster as climate warms

October 9, 2015

The Horn of Africa has become increasingly arid in sync with the global and regional warming of the last century and at a rate unprecedented in the last 2,000 years, according to new research led by a University of Arizona ...

Could 'The Day After Tomorrow' happen?

October 9, 2015

A researcher from the University of Southampton has produced a scientific study of the climate scenario featured in the disaster movie 'The Day After Tomorrow'.

A mission to a metal world—The Psyche mission

October 9, 2015

In their drive to set exploration goals for the future, NASA's Discovery Program put out the call for proposals for their thirteenth Discovery mission in February 2014. After reviewing the 27 initial proposals, a panel of ...


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.