Florida Patent of the Month – September 2022

Firefighters are consistently exposed to dangerous situations in low visibility areas which present an immediate danger to life. A common cause of death among emergency personnel involves the inability to find their way out of a burning building due to the thickness of the smoke present. If they are separated from other firefighters, it becomes increasingly difficult to navigate their surroundings. The use of safety lights are essential in recognizing emergency fire personnel in these situations. However, many lights require an attached power source, which can be inconvenient. In addition, many of these lights are not fire-resistant, or are battery operated, which could lead to an explosion hazard in high heat situations.

F.D. Signworks, LLC is focused on manufacturing high-quality safety equipment for firefighters. They have extensively researched the benefits of using photoluminescent materials, which incorporate inorganic phosphors into a carrier or substrate, such as a water-based paint. They absorb light in the visible and ultraviolet wavelengths and release visible light to impart a “glow-in-the-dark” effect. These can be an effective light source for emergency fire personnel.

Their invention consists of a lightweight fire-resistant photoluminescent identifier system that can be attached to the firefighter’s face mask or other equipment. It contains a base layer to prevent light from being directed onto the firefighter’s face as well as a reflective silver and photoluminescent layer. It automatically lights up in low-light areas, and the top layer can be cut into any shape to individually identify fire personnel. This photoluminescent strip is easy to use, lacks a separate power source, and is customizable keeping all emergency personnel safe in even the most dangerous situations. 

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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