By Author(s): Mike Kirby 
Published Friday, April 27, 2012
| From the June 2012  Issue of FireRescue 
As responders to all types of emergencies, particularly motor vehicle crashes (MVCs), firefighters often find themselves operating in areas where they run the risk of being struck by oncoming traffic. We’ve implemented many safety measures over the years to combat injury on the roadway; however, sometimes oncoming motorists still don’t see us.
One of the problems with our system of alerting motorists is the use of short-term traffic flares. These disposable devices don’t last a long time and yet are fairly expensive. A few reports also indicate that flares are bad for the environment. It has been shown that partially burnt flare residue is a contaminant, smoke produced from flares is bad for the user’s lungs, flares can’t be used near flammable environments and they also create a fire hazard when stored in vehicles.
So where do you turn if you want to use a product other than the traditional flare as an early warning signal device on the roadway? Lightmodule Inc. has an answer to that question. The company has created a device called the LM PRO, an electronic flare that’s specifically designed to provide extremely bright warning light for increased safety and visibility.
The device features a special, parabolic, sealed head that houses several high-powered LED lights, which emit 360 degrees of light. The head screws onto a rechargeable battery pack that’s provided with a D-ring hook.
But Lightmodule didn’t stop at just the standard flare design. There are several variations of the LM PRO that can be created by switching out the head of the device: One head functions as a flare only, another functions as a high-powered area light, a third functions as a flashlight, and a fourth combines the functions of both the flare and the area light to provide optimal flexibility.
The flare LEDs emit a red light, while the area light LEDs emit a white light; however, an individual user can specify other colors, if needed. Other key features of the LM PRO include:
- Brightness matches that of a chemical flare.
- Area light is powerful enough to illuminate an entire room or campsite.
- Gives up to 16 hours of light per charge when used as a flare; six hours when used as an area light.
- Device can be handheld, deployed on the ground, cone-mounted for greater visibility or hung via a D-ring.
- Flashlight head dramatically increases range of visibility over a traditional flashlight.
- Provides up to 1,000 charge cycles per replaceable battery pack.
- Each electronic head comes standard with three function modes: full brightness, increased battery life and an SOS mode (which can be customized to user specifications).
At first glance, the device may appear awkward looking; however it’s extremely bright, easy to use and intrinsically safe. It can also be used in hazardous areas where standard flares cannot.
While testing the LM PRO, I discovered that it was extremely durable, the battery life seemed sufficient, and everyone who saw it stated that it was very bright. I also discovered that it could have a couple additional uses: 1) for rapid intervention, it could be used to help mark ingress/egress pathways to facilitate faster rescue or removal of victims, if needed, 2) for response agencies that operate boats on waterways and 3) for signaling or carrying on life vests in the event someone goes overboard. The device can also be made to emit a GPS signal specifically for marine applications.
Given its many uses, its brightness and its more environmentally friendly design, it would be well worth your while to give the LM PRO a chance so you could see for yourself just how durable and flexible this rechargeable flare is compared to the standard chemical flare.
For more information, visit www.lightmodule.com.
Sidebar: LM PRO Electronic Flare
- Extremely bright
- Environmentally safe
- Can be handheld or mounted
Sidebar: Lightmodule Inc. Contact Information
1963 Concourse Dr.
San Jose, CA 95131, USA
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