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Great Balls of Digital Fire

Virtual sport simulators are tremendously popular nowadays. Take golf for example: walk indoors, swing your clubs, and improve your swing. (Personally, I'd rather be outdoors any day with the sun shining and a fresh breeze in my face.) You can sit in movies with 3-D glasses, play sports (indoors) with a variety of simulators, or even wear 3-D goggles for virtual reality baseball training (you don't even need a ball, just swing the bat).

Digital training exists for a thousand other purposes too, including safety training. And with the significance and need for fire safety in mills, it's useful to know about the digital training companies out there. One company that recently hit the news (for good reasons) is the international company, LionTM.

With LionTM ATTACK Digital Fire Training System, you use a special fire extinguisher spraying simulated "water" on a digital fire displayed on one or more portable screens. As you're spraying the fire, the fire is synced with the extinguisher so the fire responds exactly as a real fire would. If you're holding the fire extinguisher correctly and using proper techniques for fire extinguishing, the digital fire will go out. If not, the fire will continue burning - without burning the building down. Using these methods, you can even safely train at the dry end of your machine(s).

There are also supplemental goodies you can use with training, such as a smoke generator to make the scene far more realistic, yet won't leave that everlasting smoke smell. Also, want a real - contained - fire in different settings? (Want a barbecue fire? A trash fire? A dumpster fire?) LionTM can supply all this and more. The supplemental supply list is thorough.

Clean up is easy, regardless of which equipment you use (digital or live fire), and you don't have to deal with remediation or damage. Fold up the screen, pack away the equipment, and you're done.

Now, here's the big question: does aiming a fire extinguisher that's squirting absolutely nothing at a flat screen really train a person for an emergency fire?

Answer: Look at the trail of evidence. LionTM doesn't have any case studies on their website that I could find. However, they do continual training with fire departments, they service first providers worldwide, you can learn a lot from their LinkedIn posts, and they've been in business for 125 years.

And digital training does have a long track record. Whether it's airline pilots, professional baseball players, or, yes, golfers, the evidence is there. A lot of safety, like driving a car, is doing the right thing over and over and over again.

So with the LionTM setup, you extinguish a digital fire for your fire safety training.

Given how much damage fires can and do in a mill, it makes sense to use some extra creativity / technology with training. Because lighting a match really isn't an option. Safety comes first.

Above all - this month and every month - stay safe.


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