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: Simulated computer network alters reality to mislead hackers

Related Stories

Science update on climate change: from bad to worse

November 17, 2017

Scientists monitoring the Earth's climate and environment have delivered a cascade of grim news this year, adding a sense of urgency to UN talks on how best to draw down the greenhouse gases that drive global warming.

Potential new autism drug shows promise in mice

November 14, 2017

Scientists have performed a successful test of a possible new drug in a mouse model of an autism disorder. The candidate drug, called NitroSynapsin, largely corrected electrical, behavioral and brain abnormalities in the ...

Recommended for you

Bacteria development marks new era in cellular design

December 11, 2017

Scientists at the universities of Kent and Bristol have built a miniature scaffold inside bacteria that can be used to bolster cellular productivity, with implications for the next generation of biofuel production.

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.