This Origami Cardboard Shelf Makes Starting Campfires A Little Easier

Unless you're on some reality show trying to prove your chops at wilderness survival, it's not a crime to bring along tools that make camping a little easier. Like this simple fold-up cardboard shelf that makes it easy to get a campfire started if you're too tired to scrounge for kindling. » 10/07/14 2:00pm 10/07/14 2:00pm

Detroit's Under-Funded Fire Departments Use a Soda Can For a Fire Alarm

Where absent money leaves gaps, ingenuity fills in. Nowhere is that more true than in Detroit's fire departments, where, as Detroit Free Press reporter Tresa Baldas shows us, a soda can full of jangling coins and screws alerts the Motor City's long-suffering heroes when there's an emergency. » 9/06/14 9:00am 9/06/14 9:00am

Shoelaces That Include Everything You Need To Start an Emergency Fire

Unless you're trying to prove yourself on some ill-conceived reality survival show, it's always a good idea to bring some way to easily start a fire when you head off into the wilderness. But if things go awry, this simple set of shoelaces can be used to start a fire in the event of an emergency. » 8/08/14 12:02pm 8/08/14 12:02pm

The Decrepit, Unreliable Fire Hydrant Just Got a Brilliant Upgrade

These days, fires are rare enough that most of us rarely think about the state of our fire hydrants. But unfortunately, that also means we're ignoring a dangerously decayed piece of urban infrastructure. Except for a retired NYC firefighter and inventor named George Sigelakis, that is. Meet the fire hydrant of the… » 6/03/14 10:40am 6/03/14 10:40am

Sparking Titanium Golf Clubs Might Be Causing California Wildfires

Researchers at UC Irvine have determined that golfers who can't keep their shots out of the rough might actually be responsible for wildfires in California in recent years. Specifically, certain clubs made from a titanium alloy have been found to produce sparks up to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit—more than hot enough to… » 3/24/14 4:00pm 3/24/14 4:00pm

Snuggle Up To a Cozy Yule Log and the Science of Fire This Evening

Those few precious days off you have during the holidays are best spent taxing your brain as little as possible. But who says you can't learn something even when away from work or school? If you're lacking a fireplace to curl up next to, this wonderful video from AsapSCIENCE will keep you cozy while educating you on… » 12/25/13 4:00pm 12/25/13 4:00pm

Smokey the Bear Meets the 21st Century in These Firefighting UAVs

Remember, only you can prevent forest fires. But that doesn't stop them from happening with frightening regularity and increasingly destructive force. To better understand and predict the atmospheric conditions that lead to these wildfires, one research team wants to float an armada of disposable, self-guided… » 7/23/13 11:30am 7/23/13 11:30am

Watch a Railroad Bridge Turn into $10 Million Flaming Dominoes

Structure fires are never a good thing, but that doesn't mean they can't be damned impressive. Last Sunday, this railroad trestle in Texas caught fire, and when authorities decided it'd be too dangerous to fight, they just let it burn. The result is a spectacular show of what have to be some of the most dangerous… » 5/22/13 12:18pm 5/22/13 12:18pm

A Fire-Starting Pen, For When Your Words Aren't Inflammatory Enough

They say the pen is mightier than the sword, but neither of those implements are really that effective when it comes to starting a campfire. So if survival and copious note-taking are high on your list when it comes to choosing office supplies, consider this tactical pen that hides a fire striker inside. » 4/19/13 3:40pm 4/19/13 3:40pm

Firefighters Can Take Smart-Pills That Report Back Important Data About…

Firefighters run into flaming buildings for a living, It's not exactly what you might call a safe job. And while they can tell generally how they're doing by noting whether or not they are on fire at any given time, there's a lot more nuance to keeping track of other aspects of their health. That's where data… » 1/20/13 2:07pm 1/20/13 2:07pm

Cheap, Plastic-Filled Furniture Makes It Easier for Fire to Destroy Our…

Today, more and more furniture is made using plastic-based materials, which burns drastically faster than the interior decor of yore, sucking all the oxygen out of a room at a faster clip, and making it harder to evacuate people. It's a serious problem that's making firefighters completely reconsider how they put… » 7/03/12 7:30pm 7/03/12 7:30pm