An innovative new fire extinguisher that uses helium to tackle unwanted flames has been hailed as 'a lot of fun' by safety fans.
"Our new canned heat solution harnessess the 'helium triangle'", explained designer Carl Lewisham, "A is for 'a floaty gas', B is for 'burnlessness'. And C? That stands for 'increased psychological fortitude, through squeaky voice-based frivolity'."
In fact, it's the latter letter that lets Lewisham's lighter-than air solution punch above its weight. "Helium might only work when you're fighting fires directly above you", admitted the flammabologist. "But that could be useful, particularly amongst clumsy balloonists."
Lewisham doesn’t think the life-threatening short-comings of his invention should be taken too seriously. "If you find yourself doing battle with a conventional set of flames at or below eye level, you should consider helium anyway. Screaming with fear in a funny voice can really lighten the mood."
The development team behind the project used the latest modelling techniques from Crayola and Play-doh to show how you could use helium to fight a fire up a Victorian lighthouse. “Our model of a historic figure couldn’t be arsed with all those stairs, so he let off the helium in the lobby. Our simulation showed speech bubbles from the trapped victim, he was laughing his tits off. You don’t get that with a fire blanket, not even our ‘whoopee’ one.”
Lewisham admits that the unsuitability of helium in tackling most ground-based fires means it should be chosen carefully from a range of extinguishers, as the mood of the situation dictates.
"To make the helium extinguisher stand out, we've painted it red like all the other ones", explained Lewisham. "But if you need to check you've got the right one, our serial numbers are all divisible by 13. Or you could just wing it, and grab the only one that's hanging up from its hook."
Lewisham is keen to expand his unique range of fire management solutions, which blend psychology with unsuitable material choices. "My mum always said ‘fight fire with fire’", revealed the extinguished gentleman. “But we now know she’d have been less seriously burned if she’d fought it with custard.”
Hat-tip to Vertically Challenged Giant