Public Safety & Homeland Security

Intelligent Evacuation Sensors Light Safest Route

Sensors that detect heat, smoke and chemicals light the safest evacuation route out of a building.

by Brian Heaton / June 2, 2011
Lightstep Technologies

In an emergency, factors such as smoke and darkness can often make finding an evacuation route difficult and can lead to fatalities. But a new intelligent “exit-locating” technology could help save lives by illuminating the path to safety.

Using sensors that detect heat, smoke and chemicals, intelligent evacuation technology determines which hallways and rooms in a structure are free of danger. The Lightstep system then calculates the safest route to travel and turns on embedded light-emitting diode (LED) panels with green arrows and red “X’s” to direct occupants to a secure location.

The building hallways look like something out of Star Trek when illuminated, but there’s nothing science-fiction about the technology. Developed by Lightstep Technologies, the system operates on the same principle as an aircraft’s emergency lighting, which directs passengers to exit doors. The difference, however, is that Lightstep’s solution thinks for itself.

Go to Government Technology to read more about the intelligent evacuation system.