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Fire-fighting grenade makes its TV debut this week

The FIT-5 fire-fighting technology that Scientific American.com wrote about on September 5 will make it's prime time television debut December 12 at 10 p.m. as part of the Science Channel series Brink.

Made by Vancouver-based ARA Safety, the grenade-like gadget is designed to quickly extinguish flames in small quarters, thereby limiting injury to both victims  and firefighters. The company says the device—which costs about $1,300—can extinguish a class B (fuel-based) fire in a room 2,100 cubic feet (60 cubic meters) or less and reduce fire temperatures from 1,000 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit (540 to 150 degrees Celsius) in less than 10 seconds. The FIT-5 is also designed to control class A (wood-based) fires enough  to douse them with water.

More than 37 fire departments  in the eastern U.S. now carry Vancouver-based ARA Safety's FIT-5 (for fire interruption technology). The device, available to firefighters for a year, is a means of knocking down or even extinguishing fires in rooms, basements and attics. The FIT-5 (price tag: around $1,300) is a nine-pound (four-kilogram) red disk that resembles a land mine and is deployed like a grenade. A firefighter pulls its cord and tosses the disk into the area engulfed in flames; within seconds the FIT-5 releases a wispy cloud of potassium carbonate, a flame retardant that suppresses combustion and disrupts fire at the molecular level.

The FIT-5 can be seen in action on this week's episode of Brink (click on the YouTube video below for a preview of Brink's FIT-5 segment).

FIT-5 image courtesy of ARA Safety

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