Kamis, 21 April 2011

New Flameless Flares Easier; Safer to Use

While most roadside safety kits contain at least one traditional incendiary device, they may not be the most harmless way of attracting help. With burn temperatures of 5,000 degrees and a laundry list of toxic chemicals, the name "safety flare" may be an oxymoron because they are neither safe nor environmentally friendly. Moreover, road flares, if used improperly, can easily ignite gasoline and burn the clothes or skin of even the most experienced user. The Keystone Group, based in Niwot, Colo., has introduced a more family-friendly solution: an alternative to the conventional flare called FlareAlert - a battery-operated flare that can be seen for miles around from both the air and ground. Steve Jones, president of the Keystone Group, first marketed the FlareAlert to police and fire departments, which have bought tens of thousands of the devices. Now the company is offering the product to the general public. Millions of drivers could benefit from having emergency flares. AAA, for instance, responds to more than 28 million calls for road service annually. The FlareAlert contains 12 high-output light emitting diodes that give it a bright, non-toxic glow and, unlike its other battery-operated counterparts, has a built-in magnetic base that can be mounted on a vehicle in case of an accident or attached to a mailbox in case emergency personnel need to find a house quickly. The device uses two AA batteries and has a battery life of approximately 20 hours in flash mode and six to 10 hours in steady-on mode before significant dimming will occur. The bulb life is about 10 years or 100,000 hours. Worried about the flare getting crushed while on the road? Recent independent testing revealed that it can withstand more than 4,500 pounds of direct pressure. Considering the weight of a vehicle is distributed over four tires, the FlareAlert is able to withstand being run over by a 10,000-pound vehicle. In addition, because FlareAlert is non-flammable, it will not scorch the pavement or leave behind any debris, making for a more environmentally friendly safety mechanism.

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