March 6, 2020

FIVE FROM FINLAND: Fire safety

fire extinguisher
Fire up for these five innovative Finnish solutions in fire safety.
Julia Bushueva

Discover these fine Finnish innovations in order to stay fire safe.

Every year, Finnish rescue departments are called to a total of nearly 13 000 fires, many of which could be prevented. This makes Finnish innovators work hard on solutions to prevent, timely detect and respond to fires, as well as to promote fire safety awareness.

Fire up for these five innovative Finnish solutions.

VTT

Wood is a popular construction material, but it is not immune to catching fire. A recent innovation by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, however, can remarkably improve the fire properties of wood-based construction materials.

Last year, VTT scientists developed a new fire-retardant coating that has the potential to revolutionise the market. Made from nanocellulose and applied either by spray or brush, the coating reduces the access of oxygen to the material’s surface, thus significantly inhibiting combustion.

With an energy-efficient production method already in place, the scientists have started examining ways to further perfect and scale up the process.

“We have many more good ideas about how to simplify the process and make it even more efficient,” said senior scientist Panu Lahtinen.

Safera

Did you know that cooking is the number one cause of home fires? On a mission to ensure a stress-free cooking process, prevent cooking fires and save lives, the Espoo-based company has been manufacturing some of the world’s most intelligent stove guards for over 10 years.

Its latest product, Safera Sense, is a discreet sensor device that not only recognises various events around the stove, but also helps you to become a smarter chef. Placed above the stove and managed via a mobile app, the state-of-the-art cooking sensor monitors air quality, assists in cooking and alerts you when any fire hazards are detected.

“There is no other product like this,” asserted CEO Mikko Reinikainen.“It combines a stove guard, an air quality meter and a cooking application.”

Quanturi

In farming, hay is a major fire hazard as hay bales are prone to spontaneous combustion due to a microbial fermentation process that produces flammable gases. The ignition of one bale usually leads to the destruction of the whole barn, causing substantial losses.

This VTT spin-off, previously known as Haytech, has been helping farmers all over the world to prevent hay fires with its innovative wireless IoT system for monitoring hay bales since 2016. Now, Quanturi’s advanced technology is used for monitoring not only hay, but also a range of other organic materials in agriculture and forestry.

“We want to accelerate our product development also to other fermented materials such as grain, compost and woodcut, and aim at an ever-expanding international market,” founder and CEO Nadine Pesonen explained a couple of years ago.

Jalo Helsinki

Smoke alarms, fire extinguishers and fire blankets rarely look pretty, but they can save lives in the case of an emergency where mere seconds count. Jalo Helsinki, however, has proved that these mandatory fire safety products can be eye-catching and bring style to your home.

The company’s product line consists of two types of designer smoke alarms with no battery changes ever needed, the world’s first designer extinguisher meant specifically for kitchens, and fire blankets featuring desirable designs, like Moomins and Tom of Finland.

The attractive looks come with high quality, exceptional performance and the latest technology – all the characteristics that Finnish design is famous for. Moreover, the company believes that being Finnish can be beneficial for the image of the product in many countries.

“In Japan, for example, the attitude towards Finland is very positive, and Finnish society is seen as an ideal example,” elaborated co-founder and CCO Mikko Järvenpää. “In Russia, in turn, where smoke alarms aren’t common, Finland holds a strong value in terms of branding.”

SyraWise

Teaching children and youth about safety, including the dangers of fire, can make a lifesaving difference. With the help of this educational game company, the process of acquiring and maintaining the vital knowledge is more fun, inspiring and efficient than ever before.

The company’s core product, Rescuebusters, is based on a concept developed by co-founder Jussi Rautio, a firefighter and emergency medical technician by training. The mobile game lets players practise various emergency situations that can occur at home or elsewhere.

“If you think of a lot of popular games, they are about fighting, killing or smashing cars,” noted co-founder and CEO Markus Syrjänen. “We wanted to make something that does the opposite and teaches how to save lives.”

Text: Zhanna Koiviola

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