Abu Dhabi: Amnah Al Marzouqi’s sister escaped unharmed from a fire that broke out at The Address Downtown Hotel on 2016 New Year’s Eve, but her scary accounts of the incident prompted Amnah to develop a smart evacuation system along with her classmates.
“My sister told me the difficulties faced by the hotel residents, especially elderly people and children, to find the exit,” the Emirati student of Electronics Engineering at the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) at Madinat Zayed in Al Dhafra Region of Abu Dhabi, told Gulf News on Wednesday.
She discussed with her four classmates the need of a system to avert casualties in fire accidents, which led to a joint effort to develop the smart evacuation system that won the first prize in the university category of a prestigious competition.
They received the Students Innovation Award that was conducted under the theme ‘Your Innovation Is Our Safety’ for students across the UAE as part of the eighth edition of the International Exhibition for National Security and Resilience (ISNR Abu Dhabi 2018).
Lt-General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, honoured the award winners at ISNR Abu Dhabi 2018, which is taking place at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
Amnah said a fire location indicator in the system would help residents to know the origin of the fire and keep away from that area. “Mostly, people panic, run aimlessly and may end up a floor or a room from where the fire has erupted. Our system will show the origin of the fire on a screen,” she said.
Amnah and her classmates — Alya Al Mazroui, Saleha Al Marar, Maitha Al Rumaithi and Latifa Al Ameri — were excited to receive the award from Shaikh Saif.
How smart evacuation system works
The system’s four components will guide both residents and Civil Defence personnel what to do when a fire breaks out.
The alarm system with smoke and gas sensors will detect the fire immediately and send messages to the screens installed inside the rooms and corridors of the building.
The Fire Location Indicator will mention the exact origin of the fire on the screens. For example: “Fire in room number 3 on third floor”.
LED Guides: LED lights installed on the corridors will guide to the emergency exit.
The sensor to detect people will alert Civil Defence personnel about the presence of people who are still inside the building.
E-chips for children, special needs people to cross roads safely
Young children and people of determination may not be able to follow traffic signals but vehicles will detect their presence and stop at pedestrian crossings, if they wear a small chip using RFID (Radio-frequency identification) technology, according to Emirati students who developed a Smart Board to Enhance Pedestrian Safety.
“The lightweight chips [a few grams] costing Dh3-4 can be worn as a bracelet or on clothes. Its cost will further go down with large-scale production,” Badriya Abdullah Al Hammadi, an electronics engineering student, told Gulf News.
Badriya and her three classmates — Amnah Al Beloushi, Maria Al Khoury and Sumayya Mubarak — developed the system that won third prize in the Students Innovation Award that was conducted under the theme ‘Your Innovation Is Our Safety’ for students across the UAE as part of the eighth edition of the International Exhibition for National Security and Resilience (ISNR Abu Dhabi 2018).
How does it work
All vehicles must be fitted with a RFID chip costing a few dirhams on their number plates.
Young children and people of determination can purchase similar lightweight chip from market and wear it when walking on the street. As the chips on children and vehicles are electronically linked, drivers will get alerts in advance about children’s presence at crossings.
An electronic gate and indicators installed at crossings will also give alerts to drivers about the presence of children.