Technological system of protection against rural fires tested in the municipality of Arganil

A fire protection system developed by a team from the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Coimbra (FCTUC), through the Association for the Development of Industrial Aerodynamics (ADAI) and the Systems and Robotics Institute (ISR), will be tested next Friday, July 24, at 11 am, in the village of Travessas, municipality Arganil.

The technology was developed within the scope of the project “FireProtect – Systems for the Protection of People and Critical Elements Exposed to Forest Fires”, which is coordinated by the professor Domingos Xavier Viegas. This project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Center’s Operational Program.

This rural fire protection system installed in Travessas, which has the support of the Arganil City Council and the Celavisa Parish Council, is based on a «line of water sprinklers that can be activated in a fire situation from outside and that threatens the population.
This sprinkler line was divided into four independent sprinkler modules distributed over approximately 160m, covering the most exposed peripheral areas of this village», explain the FCTUC scientists.

Professor Xavier Viegas


This installation is a pilot project that aims to demonstrate possibilities of self-protection for communities exposed to fire risk. «With an aging population and a network of deficient accesses, Travessas may find itself faced with a situation in which assistance through external means of civil protection is difficult or even impossible, as has happened in the past.
Thus, it is essential that this settlement, like many others, have self-protection systems like this one, which operate in a semi-automatic way.
These systems can save lives, preserve assets and greatly facilitate the activities of civil protection means», stress the ADAI researchers.

The team also points out that this type of systems «only supports fire fighting, reducing the intensity of the fire or partially extinguishing the flame front.
The areas covered by the sprinkler line must continue to be subject to fuel management actions, as specified in the legislation in force. However, even without eliminating the risk, these systems significantly increase the likelihood that people, houses and villages will resist the effects of a fire.»

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