Douse My Fire…Hurry!

The leaping flames, the hot arid smoke, he runs like lightning with the hose in his hands ready to douse the sparks! Good beginning for a juicy romantic novel, but I’m talking about a real big fire that firefighters have to deal with and any ways this is a design site and not Mill&Boons. The design to look out for is a new type of hydrant that uses zinc casting as a base. Featuring RFID, independent power and lighting system, this new hydrant could help firefighters save precious moments as they locate and hook the hose to it.

What firefighters are going to like the best about this hydrant is its cap. The thing has been fashioned in such a way that they won’t have to remove their awkward fireproof gloves to open it. Summertime fun with this hydrant is a big no-no!

Designer: Jon Cervin

31 Comments

  • zippyflounder says:

    cost vrs advantages…sorry aint going to happen. The other thing is this, think robust, think decades of abuse in a outdoor enviorment (i give the solar pannels 20 min life in some areas). Can the existing cast iron unit be improved, yes, maybe but then again its had 100 years of in field development on its side.

  • Eric says:

    ANYTHING can be made to look pretty! Should we change everything then?

    • joe says:

      This appears to be a hydrant with very specific features to address very specific problems. I would assume the target municipalities would be more suburban/rural… Areas where there isn’t necessarily a hydrant every 600 feet…

      I don’t think the designer held form over function. It just might not be the best solution in all situations.

  • Uhm says:

    Uhm.. Eric.. You do realize this is a design site, right? This isn’t stuff that _will_ actually become real and be used. If you have to complain about every design, you don’t belong here, because you are obviously not someone who appreciates good design.

    • zippyflounder says:

      how do you expect them to become better designer with out imput from people that build products, not flights of fancy. That is not good design, it dont solve the problem.

    • Eric says:

      Uhm… Uhm, Design=Intelligence
      Please tell me how this would be an intelligent product to continue with, I’m all ears. Any way you look at it, this will be an exorbitant cost to endure just to get a few perks. Products need to be designed, not be “designer” products. They need to be the obvious choice for many reasons (including function -vs- looks, and efficiency.) This particular item displays no regard for implementation. That’s a huge flaw in this designer hydrant because it wasn’t designed with that in mind. Therefore – bad design.

      • this guy says:

        Agreed. I think design is starting to take a turn for the worse here. Headed in the wrong direction. Most young and coming “designers”… now, think design is purely aesthetic. Where is true innovation [just add LEDs and a USB port!!!]? And why do you lack this?

        Only a few have it right. When it comes to “designing” new products, for the most part it needs to work BETTER than the existing – and also be more efficient with manufacturing, and as Eric stated “implimentation” into the equation. If it doesn’t, why do we need or even want it?

        And what happens when a car run this over? Now you have a $XXXX.00 pile of useless chromium plated zinc (much harder to recycle), LEDs, solar panels, S/S caps, misc. unidentified plastic(s) and bolts = garbage.

  • Jon says:

    Well, to answer some of these questions. The lighting system I do understand is a little far-fetched. However, it was one of the things that firemen LOVED about this. I was hesitant to put it in my final design. I ultimately ended up thinking that this is just a concept, hopefully something that we can view as an idea that could be expanded on, an also realize some of the downfalls to the current product. Also, if you look at the exploded view, it is two symmetrical halves. This allows for a single mold (rather than 2-3 currently) as well as simplifies the manufacturing process. The zinc can also be covered in a chromate finishing process, meaning that city workers dont have to go out every year to do a terrible job repainting them. Fewer bolts than standard hydrants leads to a simplified installation and repair for city workers as well.

    • Eric says:

      Unfortunately there’s already an infrastructure in place to maintain the current system, from molding through assembly and installment. That infrastructure is what now needs to be re-designed if you can sell any city on these. They will want a good reason to front so much money in order to switch over. Even if it requires less maintenance (as you claim) later on, it still requires more money now to install them everywhere.
      If you’re thinking: “Oh, well when each old model goes kaput then they can swap it for this new one!” Did you ever think about maintaining now two versions of hydrants? My city has both low pressure hydrants (more than 8,000 by the way) and high pressure hydrants (about 1,800 of those.) I doubt they would want to now accommodate a third version as well throughout the city (spare parts for all 3 in each repair truck?) As “this guy” pointed out hydrants do get hit by cars, I’ve actually witnessed it.
      I think you actually have a bigger shot at getting these installed in a new city sprouting up in years to come, somewhere…

  • random dude says:

    Whoa, I’d like to see what you guys post on other designs. What was wrong with the original Otto Cycle motor? Why change that progressively over 100 years? Why waste money and resources to complicate something that there was never a problem with originally? Most design isn’t solving a black-and-white problem and reinventing the wheel so much as it is improving the usability, which is exactly what this design does. It states in the description that firefighters can more easily hook up hoses. When a house is burning down, that may prove valuable seconds. If the firefighters liked the LED’s, then I’d say their opinion counts for something. As far as cost, cost always goes down with volume. At least the designer had some foresight to attempt to simplify manufacturing. Some cities have nicer benches then others. Some have the money and spend it to make improvements simply for aesthetics. I don’t understand why you guys feel that a replacement design should be more cost effective then existing. Improvements cost money, period. Otherwise, $450 Dysons wouldn’t be flying off the shelf because everyone would be using $100 50-year-old-proven-design Eureka’s.

    • Eric says:

      As much as I like to say I agree with you, please tell me which city you know of that would classify that as a valid argument. Unfortunately they will look at cost and efficiency of replacement. They will look you right in the eye without blinking and say “No.” This is not a bench or a wheel, it’s an alternate version of something else that already exists and works fine. This could be installed in a NEW city, but it won’t replace old hydrants within the next 5 years. Let’s see who’s right….

      • random dude says:

        “This is not a bench or a wheel, it’s an alternate version of something else that already exists and works fine.”

        A cheaper public bench works just fine over an expensive ornate public bench. Likewise a tree stump works just fine over any bench at all. I can cut a steak with a butter knife, too.

        You want me to keep going, or you want to get a clue?

        • Eric says:

          How appropriately named you are! A hydrant is an emergency life saving device that stops the spread of something worse. Tell your city you want to swap out hydrants for nicer looking ones with a few perks; then ask them to also swap out benches for “cooler” ones, and I bet they would rather talk about the benches.
          Don’t mess with functioning life saving equipment. There are waaaaay to many other things that could be “improved.” I don’t care what you sit on, but I do care what you waste money on (if heaven forbid you worked for the city.) They could put that $ towards something else a city needs improvement of (like say retrofitting.) And here you’re willing to spend bank on something that’s working fine as it is, saving lives already.
          This hydrant could be installed in a new city, not an existing one. So you get the clue and please go “cut your meat” with whatever you please…

          • joe says:

            i’m not sure i understand your point here… tell the city to waste money on crap like fancy benches over improving “life saving devices”…

            life saving equipment is precisely the equipment i want designers to focus on improving.

          • Eric says:

            I agree that life saving equipment is a great thing to focus on (vs a bench any day.) However this particular item is providing a few conveniences for firefighters. I doubt this will actually lower the death toll so significantly that cities would pursue implementation.
            It’s wonderful that someone is out there thinking about improvement, but as I said before this money could be spent on something else that actually will save lots of lives (like retrofitting for example.)

    • zippyflounder says:

      why the dyson and not the eureka….simple very often a fool and his/her money parts because of a whim (or great marketing/advertising). The dysons sell for the inflated price because the selling proposition is this its got to be more expensive if its “better”. The core selling point, a strong one…you don’t want to be DIRTY now do you? Dyson is brilliant because its design is visually distinctive, and its message is that if you don’t have one your dirty.

    • Eric says:

      Ps.
      Dyson is also original enough to not just make a pretty product. They are made to never loose suction, which is sort of their whole campaign. Which 50 y/o $100 Eureka model does that?

      • zippyflounder says:

        ummm sorry erik, “never lose suction” is dependent on the hepa filter being changed OFTEN. If you don’t, guess what, you putting dust back into the air BIG TIME. I had one, sold it to a neighbor and went back to my 30 year old rainbow that uses a water bath “filter”.

        • Eric says:

          That’s like all new things that require more batteries. Just more to buy to keep it working perfectly. If you can afford a $450 vacuum, why not the filters? If you do keep up on it, you will have a superior product…

          • zippyflounder says:

            No, its not superior to my water bath rainbow, its just cooler looking.

  • Eric says:

    Lol! That’s fine keep cleaning your carpet and cleaning your filters, and using electricity. I’ll just sweep my hard wood and save, well a lot of things…

    • zippyflounder says:

      its bamboo I hope 🙂 (both the broom and the flooring)

      • Eric says:

        Which crop did your vacuum grow from? Is that carpet just as renewable also? 😉

        • zippyflounder says:

          The rainbow is mostly steel, is nigh on to 30 years old and still sucking the dust right out of the air. Carpet, why i buy from a place that recycles the old stuff…I think the re sell it to ID students for something or another :).

          • Eric says:

            So either way both our homes would have fuel to burn if we didn’t have a designer hydrant to save them! 😉

  • random dude says:

    sd

  • joe says:

    in defense of the design: i know of some areas where locating a hydrant can be a real challenge (especially at night)… I think applying RFID and self powered LED’s to a hydrant could have some fantastic applications that could save lives. I love the cap as well. current systems are painted over every year which makes cap removal more difficult.

    My critique is to make the housing for the light system more heavy duty so as to stand the test of time and much abuse. Perhaps making the “technology” (RF sensor, LEDs, solar panels) more modular so if it needed to be replaced, the city would only need to buy 1 part. …just a suggestion.

    • Eric says:

      I guess I would suggest firefighters turn on their lights (say flashlights they carry already) to locate hydrants in dark areas. No need to spend money on something that can be accomplished for free already…

  • Cromagnum says:

    I once was a Vol fireman
    Some issues with hydrants, that could be designed to fix

    1) trash in the barrell. Occurs when caps are removed and not replaced. Often has to be flushed, a time-consumer when the fire rages.Not uncommon in the inner city to have used needles and broken bottles in there.
    2) Malfuntioning/broken. Usually the underground valve gets stuck shut. If stuck open it will erode the ground, and require a backhoe to fix.
    3) Single pipe design with 2 or 3 hose openings. Adding an additional line requires turning off the water, connecting, and then turning back on. Need some way to turn each on seperately. Otherwise the FD hooks on a splitter Wye valve.
    4) Knowing the capacity of the hydrants. Hydrants should be tested for water capacity GPM. Some juristictions color code them based on that, other do not. Also, at a big city fire, being able to see how many GPM all the area hydrants are currently suplying. Link this with GPS at the command center to see what you realy have.

    I can see the win in designing a new fireplug, the market would be new commercial or residential developments that want something unique. However, remember that durability and utility are the primary for this. And those crossbars looked like a redneck might try to hook something to tyhe fireplug, not a win for that.

    I can also see the use of GPS type systems for it, for electronic testing of hydrants, and to house a water flow monitoring system. Using the water flow itself to generate localized electric power.

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