Aditya Pai Anooj Koli Aastha Kabra VITA

  • Tauira / Students
    Anooj Koli, Aastha Kabra, Aditya Pai
  • School
    Indian School of Design and Innovation

Vita- a fire safety door handle designed to save lives by blocking smoke using easily accessible wet cloth, creating a safe space for the user & providing feedback to the firefighters about your location in dense smoke.

Often people fail to stop the fire or escape & take shelter behind a door. Being away from flames but heavily exposed to deadly smoke filling the entire room in no time and leaving the victims helpless & ultimately unconscious or dead. In general, wet towels are used to cover the door gap to block smoke, but the problem found was their inaccessibility in an emergency situation. This inspired us to brainstorm over "can we make a system that is both reliable and easily accessible?".

The product includes two sets of handles, indoor and outdoor, that work on the electricity generated by hydropower through electrolysis and salt ions in tap water by using galvanic cells, which gives it a shelf life of 7 years. A cloth strip made of cigarette buds is attached to the inner handle and can be pulled out from the handle to seal the gap in the door. Water and cloth are kept in the handle's tube. Upon pulling the cloth out of the inner unit, the outer unit triggers a buzzer & beeping alarm providing firemen with the necessary feedback to track and save victims. A ring LED placed on the outer unit gives feedback indicating schedule change of water.

Smoke inhalation causes 70-80% of deaths in house fires. House fires leave occupants exposed to dense smoke and unable to escape. We began by interviewing firemen, observing fire safety equipment & current issues regarding locating victims in smoke. Continuing to interview survivors to better understand what causes panic states, inaccessibility of equipment, and feeling of safety in their environment. The goal was to create a product that would have a long life, require less maintenance and design a fire safety product that isn't overlooked during an actual fire, and have it inculcated in the user's daily routine.

We also came across a problem in the whole concept. When exposed to water for a long period of time, cloth decays. For this, we came up with a solution and tweaked the material of the cloth by including fibers of used cigarette buds. Cigarette buds contribute to 28% of harmful trash in our environment since they decompose around 8 years after being discarded. In addition to a long life for the cloth, synthetic fibers in cigarette buds provide a sustainable solution.

The focus of most fire safety products is to keep the victim away from flames and burns, but smoke safety is not well addressed nor accessible. Vita not only protects the trapped victim from suffocation but also provides the victim with a sense of security and safe space around them, to breathe and gather time till help arrives. In addition to helping firemen locate victims stuck inside rooms.