A rather terrifying statistic is that as little as 17% of people know how to correctly operate a fire extinguisher, a device that could quite literally save a person’s life! This may well be down to the small, sometimes illegible instructions, a lack of training, or their level of difficulty to correctly operate one… surely something must be done to correct this?!
Well Karl Martin thought so, and his solution comes in the rather intuitive form of LiteFire. Its elevated level of usability stems from the carefully considered and extremely well-developed handle; gone are the fiddly safety pins and awkward trigger, instead they have been replaced with a large, rounded handle, where ergonomics have been greatly considered, and a single, clearly labeled button is present to activate the device.
The revised handle paired with the far simplified instructions leads to a device that can be operated by people of all ages. Just how a fire extinguisher should be!
Designer: Karl Martin
Handle ideation sketched from design requirements that include: the ability to hold with two hands, intuition through product semantics and accessibility of key operational features when in use.
The device requires less hand strength to operate compared to the existing lever mechanism. The semantics illustrate how the product is used and handled.
This design uses an adapted version of the aerosol can mechanism to allow the user the easiest method of operation. The main body is made from a die-pressed aluminum alloy. The handle and nozzle is injection molded from thermosetting, heat-resistant polyurethane. The internal mechanism components are made of brass.
Unlike fire extinguishers today, the handle can be held at two points allowing for a better distribution of weight. The handle includes a release button and sliding lock, which all have symbols to show its action. At the top of the handle is an instruction to aim at the base of the fire as this is a ‘must do’ which many are unaware of.