Augmented reality and remote inspections (NFPA 915) have been huge topics in fire protection over the last year. Drew sits down with Andy Lynch of The Fire Solutions Group to chat about his Fire Vision platform.
Listen to the Audio
Background of Andy (2:40)
Fire Vision (7:25)
How does the Augmented Reality work (16:30)
How the cloud is helping Augmented Reality (19:40)
Cities being 3D mapped (20:40)
Augmented Reality devices (22:25)
Remote Inspections – NFPA 915 (24:35)
Future of fire detection (28:20)
PFAS – Foam Fire Fighting Protection (32:40)
Quick Response Round (39:45)
NFPA 915, Augmented Reality, PFAS and more…
Imagine being able to conduct a fire protection inspection with a virtual map of where all of the systems and components are. Falling in line with the new NFPA 915 standard, Drew cover this topic on the Fire Production Podcast with guest Andy Lynch of The Fire Solutions Group.
Andy discusses how Fire Solutions Group’s new technology is about to change how Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs), engineers, contractors, and building owners look at fire protection.
Drew and Andy also discussed his past projects with fire / flame detection systems and what is coming next in the space. PFAS and fire fighting foam was the final topic and how to approach the ever growing environmental concerns.
Fire Vision will 3D scan the area, building or site of interest creating a 3D image. Icons are placed, identifying relevant resources, hazards and equipment. With over 100 icons available, each icon contains relevant information using standardized symbol taken from HAZMAT and NFPA 170 symbols.
Quake Technologies are a manufacturer of fire fighting equipment with an integrated augmented reality in the SCBA. Think of it as “Ironman AR” for firefighters.
Drew Slocum: (00:10):
This is episode 21 of the Fire Protection Podcast, powered by Inspect Point. Today, mc guest is Andy Lynch. Andy is the CEO and founder of the Fire Solutions Group in Pennsylvania. Andy has been fully involved in fire protection for his whole career. Uh, went to wpi, uh, then, uh, got involved in some research groups as well as a startup, uh, doing fire detection. A lot of that with, uh, uh, video. We get into that a little bit. Um, but mainly I want to talk to Andy today about his VI fire vision platform. Uh, ar fire vision is augmented reality for the fire protection world. So essentially what it is, is you have a set of, uh, uh, Google glasses on, or an iOS or a mobile device, and you can go around a facility and it kind of shows you right on the screen of what different hazards are throughout that facility.
So it’s really getting into some of that remote inspection potentially out there. That’s, that’s very popular as well as just, uh, just new technology showing where all your hazards are. So I really, uh, see a, a big future toward this with all the remote inspection talk. Uh, Andy’s very knowledgeable in the space and, uh, I’m glad to have him on. So, uh, very exciting stuff. Hope you enjoy. Just a quick update on the inspect point side of things before we get started with Andy and Spec Point recently started a webinar series for more technical fire protection, uh, presentations. Last month we had, uh, Potter Electric. We had Jason Webbon talking about the top non-technical items for N F P A 25. Very successful webinar. We had, uh, hundreds of people join us for that. Uh, this month, uh, we’re gonna be doing one on suppression, uh, whether it’s special hazard suppression or kitchen suppression. I haven’t figured that out yet. And then coming in July or August, we’re, we’ll be doing one on fire alarm as well. So, very, uh, great topics and, uh, love to get your feedback on them. So please subscribe to those webinars and enjoy the podcast here with Andy.
All right, welcome, Andy. Welcome to the Fire Protection Podcast. Um,
Andy Lynch: (02:24):
Oh, thanks for having me.
Drew Slocum: (02:25):
Yeah, it’s, uh, I don’t know, I don’t know how I found you probably was on social media on LinkedIn or, or something else, but, um, sure. I, I was very intrigued with some of the stuff you have going on, um, specifically with the fire vision. But I, I want to get into what else you do as well. So give me just a, a quick, quick scoop on your background, where you come from, where you’re, where you’re kind of going and, uh, yeah. Get into, get us some more topics here in a second.
Andy Lynch: (02:55):
All right. Well, I, I grew up in Andover, mass, so about 20 minutes outside Boston with no traffic. So you’ll catch a little accent <laugh>. But, um, I grew up in a firefighter family. My dad was a, a firefighter. Um, I had some uncles and, um, as well as my sisters now are actually a firefighter. And, and I almost went to the academy and, and got trained. But instead I, I went to college at W P I who has a fire protection engineering program. So I studied mechanical and, and fire protection engineering there. Um, did a little work for the state police doing, helping out with fire investigations. I worked in the lab at W p I also worked, um, got the chance to go over to Australia and work for a company called C S I R O, um, Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organization, which is kind of like the NIST of Australia.
So we did a lot of fire testing there. Um, towards the end of my academic career, um, I decided to turn a five year program into a six year program and do a master’s thesis in an internship. Um, so I worked for a company called Combustion Science and Engineering down in Columbia, Maryland. Nice. I worked a lot in their lab, uh, helping with, uh, legal cases and, and finishing up my master’s degree. Um, the testing I did there for, for my master’s thesis was actually using laser scattering to size sot particles and look at how the sot particle size and shape changes over time due to aging and agglomeration and then how that would affect smoke detector activation, cuz photo electrics right. Are more sensitive, larger particles and, and ion smaller from there. Uh, when I finished my degree, I went and worked for, at the time it was Hughes Associates, now it’s Jensen Hughes.
Um, did work in their lab as well, did some smoke control work, egress stuff. Um, but the majority of my projects were actually with the Navy, the, uh, naval research labs. Oh. So there’s a large ship down in Alabama. They do a lot of fire testing on. So I was part of those projects looking at technologies had the next generation technologies Sure. For the large, uh, carriers and destroyers. One of the technologies we were evaluating, um, and again, this is, you know, this could be 15 years ago, um, was video image detection. So it was really at its infancy. And I was working with, uh, a startup, um, out of Baltimore that was a, you know, making the technology for the Navy. They actually asked me to come on board as a partner to their startup company. So at that point I left Hughes Associates Yeah.
And started working with the video image smoke and fire detection. Uh, did a water work, getting it into code, getting FM and UL standards created. Um, got the device listed. We actually ported the algorithms from a server onto the camera to make it a self-contained device. Oh wow. Yeah, that could attach to a, a fire alarm control panel. Um, and then we sold that company to Fike. I worked for Fike for three years during an Earnout period. And when that was completed, I started the Fire Solutions group, which is, you know, where I work now. So. Nice. That kind of gives a pretty, pretty detailed, so,
Drew Slocum: (06:16):
So you went out on your own, uh, a few years ago now?
Andy Lynch: (06:21):
Uh, it’s, god, it’s, it might be almost six years ago. Nice. Um, now that I’ve been on my own and what we do at the Fire Solutions Group is mainly fire testing. Um, I do standardize test, um, usually before people go to UL and fm cuz I’ll be a little bit less expensive than, than they will be. But a lot of my clients are, uh, smaller companies. They’ve got a new technology, um, and they’re trying to get into the fire industry. And some of them have never worked in the fire industry before. So, you know, as probably a lot of listeners know, it’s a little bit different than just throwing something on a shelf at Walmart. Right. You’ve got hjs and consultants and end users and all these interactions and UL and fm. So I, I help ’em try to navigate that.
Drew Slocum: (07:05):
Oh, nice. Yeah, that’s, it is, it is quite the navigation. Uh, yeah. Yeah. We’re, you know, we’re a software company. We’re, we’re putting out some product here soon. So it’s like, you gotta really know, you know, the loophole, well, not, I don’t have to call ’em loopholes, but you just have to know, you know, who to go do what standards you have to look at and, you know, before, before you do all that. So that’s good. Right.
Um, well, I, I, I wanted to chat with you. You know, I know you get involved into, uh, you know, fire testing and engineering services and all that fun stuff, but, um, I think I, what really popped was this fire vision. Um, I don’t know if it’s a software or if it’s an application, I don’t, I don’t know what you want to call it, but, um, essentially it’s augmented reality and, and there’s a, you know, Vikings got some augmented reality out in there on their, on their dry pipe or different valves and stuff. But I guess, what are you doing with Fire Vision? What’s the, what’s the sense of it? I, what is augmented reality for those? For those out there, uh, they don’t, um, know what it is yet. Okay. And, uh, yeah, we’ll chat about that.
Andy Lynch: (08:14):
Okay. Well, well first we’ll cover augmented reality and what it is. So, uh, you know, the, the straight definition is when you overlay a digital image, um, over onto the live view of a screen. And so, you know, a lot of people, what pops in their head is maybe that Pokemon Go game that came out where Right. People were running around with their phones and then they could see a, a digital animal or, or character on their phone and, and interact with it. Um, but you know, there’s augmented reality in the NFL football games where we watch and see the first downline. It’s not really there. They’re, they’re overlaying it on. So that’s kind of the straight definition of augmented reality. Now, you can kind of branch those into categories. So there’s a lot of like QR codes or just you can pop up an image, um, anywhere you want.
And it’s not really fixed in the physical world, so it just overlays onto to anything. Um, gotcha. The one that we’re working on is a little more complicated cuz to really be, uh, you know, a a physical space device, you have to put that icon in a spot and it has to stay there and be repeatable and seen by everyone. Um, so what fire vision is, is what we’re creating is we’re 3D mapping buildings and sites, and then we’re able to put icons that pertain to fire hazards and, um, you know, your, your resources onto that site. And then within those icons we’re embedding information that’s important to the end users. Sure. So whether it’s, you know, an, an oil tank at a refinery, and you can look at tank construction or you can look at what the, you know, the, um, the gasoline that’s being stored inside. Right. How much foam you need, you know, what’s the inspection, testing, and maintenance. And so it will, it’ll give you that information there outside in the physical world when you need it rather than, you know, at your desktop computer.
Drew Slocum: (10:16):
Sure. Yeah. No, it’s, it’s, it’s, I could see it being, you know, uh, very powerful to, to the, definitely the inspector, um, you know, doing the inspection or whoever’s doing the walkthrough. Uh, I did a little research on it. So, wait, so augmented reality. So I, I’ve got two, two year olds. Um, you know, I flipped the, my my iPhone around and it, you know, you could put a, you can overlay like a cartoon face Yep. On somebody’s face. So is it something similar to that where it’s, it’s going out and detecting what you’re looking at, like detecting a face or detecting a building or a hazard and then it’ll, that it will then overlay that? Or is that different technology?
Andy Lynch: (11:02):
Um, well, we’re gonna use a little bit of both. So you’ll a, a lot of times you’ll be, uh, creating, you know, virtual volumes and attaching information to it, but we also want to embed that recognition to it. So we’re actually taking cameras and we’re scanning different pieces of equipment, say a fire hydrant. Right. Or, you know, a standpipe or Right. Fire alarm panel. So when you initially point the phone at it, whether you’ve interacted with that or not, it’ll say, oh, this is a fire alarm panel. Do you want to put this icon on it? Do you want to fill in this information? So it will be a little bit smarter? Sure. Um, as far as, so yeah, that’s kind of where you, you’re a third kind of leg of the augmented reality tree is those that recognition and, and facial filters you see on, you know, different, uh, social media sites.
Drew Slocum: (11:53):
Yeah, yeah. I know. It’s, uh, it’s kind of funny that that comes first before, uh, an actual practical <laugh> technology purpose. Right. Um, I, I saw one of your presentations, uh, that you’re in this, this company called Quake Tech. And um, they have something called see through. It is for, is it for firefighters? What is
Andy Lynch: (12:15):
Something similar? Yeah, that’s, that’s a real interesting technology that’s, um, using thermal imagers that are built into the S C B A. Oh, wow. And then rather than, you know, usually firefighters will hold the thermal imager and walk in and kind of scan the room. This overlays the thermal image onto their live view. That’s the augmented reality part. So now they can see through smoke and they’re not handling a camera, it frees up their hands. Um, so it’s, it’s kind of advanced form and it’ll help, it really helps. They looked at statistics and, you know, did some pretty solid studies through, uh, smoke-filled areas. And the people who had their technology were able to navigate through, you know, areas where you’d be normally blind significantly faster with their, their equipment on. So
Drew Slocum: (13:03):
That’s great. Yeah, I saw, I clicked on their website quick and they had, uh, they had Robert Ney Jr. Doing a a, an Ironman ad. Cuz it’s kind of like, you know, that’s what Ironman has. He has all that overlaid augmented reality,
Andy Lynch: (13:17):
<laugh>. Yeah. And it’s, I mean, it’s available now. I mean, it’s, that’s what’s great about that.
Drew Slocum: (13:22):
They gotta be funded by somebody cuz they’re, some of that stuff is, uh, uh, pretty crazy. Got, yeah. It’s gotta cost a lot
Andy Lynch: (13:29):
Too. Yeah. I can’t imagine. That’s too cheap to, to make and test and, you know, make sure it’s gonna survive the, the environments that those firefighters go into.
Drew Slocum: (13:37):
So what do you, so what do you do? Well, first of all, who is your, who would want this, who would want this technology? Because a, a standard, I’m thinking on, on the inspect point side of things. Like, all right, you have some regular TM that you’re doing, you know, in a regular commercial building that’s gotta be costly or just getting it set up. So where do you see this kind of fitting in?
Andy Lynch: (14:00):
Well, I, I see it kind of as a bridge of communication between all parties. You know, I’ve, I’ve been doing fire protection for 20 years and, and I joke, you know, you’ve got the building owner who’s responsible for the fire protection, the, the owner or manager you have the insurance company who has a vested interest. You have the firefighters who have to respond. You have consultants, you have contractors. And I say, I’ve never been in a room with all of them at once talking about the fire protection of a site. Right. So there’s all this information that one party has or another and, and they really do overlap, yet we rarely sit in a room with all the vested parties at, at one time. So I, I kind of see this as being a, you know, communication bridge between the parties. That information can be stored on and accessed.
You know, someone will control it. The, probably the building owner, cuz he’ll decide who he wants to give the information to. But I could see everyone using it. And I, I, I’ve built it for all the parties. So whether it’s the first time you walk on a site and you want to navigate to a fire pump, you could pull that pump up and say, bring me to it. And it will augment the path they call breadcrumbs to that fire pump. So you’re not searching the site for it. Or if the fire department’s responding to a fire and they’re setting up the command post, part of their 360 will be scanning the site and seeing, okay, well what hazards do I have on this site? Or, or sure. You know, where’s my FDC connection? Or is there a hydrant behind a bush that I can’t see?
Right. And it’s gonna tell them where this stuff is. Or, you know, fires never happened at, on a nice day. It could be no snowing or nighttime or foggy. And, and you’ll be able to access that information. Um, and just the building owner, I mean, if they’re walking through a, a large structure or site and go, geez, when’s the last time that had inspection, testing, and maintenance, they can hit that, that icon and pull up that information for themselves. So I really think it’s across the board, you know, people will be using it. And I think a lot of the going to market will be through consultants mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, people who work with the end user saying, Hey, this is something, you know, if we’re gonna do a fire hazard analysis or a risk assessment, we’re gonna be gathering all this information. Why don’t we, in addition to giving you the report, we’ll give you this app where you can access all the information that we’re, we’re pulling up and, you know, information that’s important to each space out there in the physical space where it is.
Drew Slocum: (16:21):
Right. Yeah. Yeah. I see it. Yeah. I can see it coming that way. Come in as the end user even working with the insurer or whoever’s doing it, you know, if it’s a higher hazard or if it’s a critical facility or um, something like that, you know, oil, petroleum oil and gas, that, that could be huge. Yeah. So what, what do you, uh, I guess how does it work? So you go in and um, you scan what, what does that mean? You scan the facility or scan
Andy Lynch: (16:49):
The Yeah, so the first thing, so when you look at the augmented reality and you want to fix something, so say it’s, say it’s a, a, a shutoff valve, um, you, that icon needs to sit on that valve and and be identified. It can’t drift. It can’t float around. Right. So it’s really important, you know, at, at first when I attacking this problem, I was thinking gps. But later on, as, as development has evolved over the last year, we’ve learned better ways to do it. So GPS is inaccurate enough cuz it drifts, you know, it can drift meters. So you’re talking about a, a valve location moving. So what we do is we actually scan, we use, um, uh, matterport and there’s actually cameras that use either IR or lidar and you scan an area and it actually builds up a point cloud map. So it’s, it’s a map of the physical location of everything.
Walls, windows, desks, shutoff valves, piping. Wow. And that is built, once that’s built, then you can start placing the icons to where they physically are. So now when you’re looking at the livestream, the livestream compares what it’s looking at to that map and says, okay, I know where I am and there’s an icon here. And that way it’s fixed in place. And it’s, it’s almost like you’re physically, well, you’re digitally creating it in that world and putting it there and it’s stuck there. So now anytime anybody looks at it, that icon will be, will be fixed to that one point. So you, you map, you put the icons and then it’s all just data entry, any information you want to contain to those icons. And then you’re up and running.
Drew Slocum: (18:24):
Wow. So, so no more barcodes,
Andy Lynch: (18:27):
No more barcodes, <laugh>. No. And and part of that is getting away from that. Right. Because if you have something out in a harsh environment or by the sea or Oh yeah. You know, our, our placards and everything like that, they’re gonna degrade over time. They get some warm they get, or you don’t see ’em at night. This is, you’re not gonna have that problem when you’re looking through and seeing a digital image overlapped.
Drew Slocum: (18:48):
Yeah. I make that joke cuz you know, I, it’s, uh, it’s a, you know, our big competitor is stuck on barcodes. I’m like, barcodes is a 1980s technology. Come on, let’s, lets, let’s move to something different out there. So, um, yeah. That, that’s, that’s great. So how, all right, so you’re doing that scan, um, you have to scan the, you have to do like a walkthrough. The whole, that’s gotta be, first of all, it’s, that’s a big process I would think.
Andy Lynch: (19:17):
And yeah, I just did the fire academy that’s close to here just cuz I’m gonna use it kind of as a, as a proving ground. All right. And it was five buildings, um, 15 floors. I’m not sure of the total square footage yet. And it, it took me a day to do it. That’s not
Drew Slocum: (19:32):
Andy Lynch: (19:33):
No, it’s not. I mean, you, you, the camera’s on a tripod. You move it every, you know, every 10 feet and it takes about 10 seconds. It just spins around in a circle and does a scan and then you move it another, you know, so you’re kinda walking through the whole building if Yeah. If you had a huge, you know, like you’re talking about a huge campus, you’d definitely have teams of people that go
Drew Slocum: (19:53):
Sure, sure, sure. Building you pick, pick away at it. So what, uh, where is it, where are they storing every, I mean, that’s gotta be a huge file I would think.
Andy Lynch: (20:01):
Yeah. So it’s stored on the cloud, so, okay. Um, we upload it and then, um, there’s actually that Matterport company actually takes it. And what’s great is you have, you have the 3D image of the scan and, and you know, people can look on our website and I’m, I’m gonna post some of them there from the fire academy. Um, which would be great for, you know, pretty much everybody, but especially first responders, when they come up to a building with the app, they’ll be able to actually take a 3D tour of the building and understand, okay, here’s, you know, here’s where different things are immediately. Right. But we change that 3D scan into that point cloud and that point cloud is, is stored in the cloud and then accessed through the app, you know, just over, over cellular connection Wow. For the comparison purposes to place those icons.
Drew Slocum: (20:48):
Wow. Yeah. That’s, that’s interesting. I, I guess cloud’s a way to go cuz you have un I don’t wanna say unlimited storage. Yeah. Pretty much unlimited storage, right?
Andy Lynch: (20:56):
Yeah. And this is, I mean, this is the way augmented reality is going. There’s actually companies out there, one of them has the whole city of London 3D mapped. Wow.
Drew Slocum: (21:05):
Andy Lynch: (21:06):
They want a hundred other major cities by the end of this year, New York City being one of them.
Drew Slocum: (21:12):
Wow. That’s nuts. So that way inside of buildings or outside,
Andy Lynch: (21:16):
It’ll be all the outside and then, you know, inside’s the catching on too, because the outside is really important for things like flying drones and, you know, cars that drive themselves and it’s all gonna use this 3D mapping technology. Wow. That’s nuts. So it’s gonna be done one way or another? Well, whether people like it or not,
Drew Slocum: (21:35):
Well, Google’s Google already does it. You see the Google cars running around if randomly you’ll see ’em, you know, cuz if you go on Google Maps, you just pull up, you know, 3D image and that’s the image of that Google car. And I think it just has, it’s just a Google car with, uh, a spinning, probably a similar camera. Right? It just spins. Yeah.
Andy Lynch: (21:55):
Yeah. And it’s, and that’s lidar on top of that car. And that’s how they’re doing it. So all age is going out, hitting an object, bouncing back, and that’s doing the measurements.
Drew Slocum: (22:04):
Andy Lynch: (22:04):
And it’s, it’s, the accuracy is like centimeters or something. That’s nuts. So it’s really fine. Yeah.
Drew Slocum: (22:10):
Wow. Yeah, it’s
Andy Lynch: (22:11):
Cool technology and, and like I said, it’s, you know, it’s the next kind of evolution in mapping, you know, when you think of, we went from paper maps and you go to MapQuest and those, you know, the 3D mapping is the best next big revolution in, in mapping technology. And the whole world will be 3D mapped at some point.
Drew Slocum: (22:29):
That’s crazy. That’s crazy to think <laugh>. So, all right. You got the storage, you got, uh, how do you, is it Google? I mean, all right, so you got it overlaid. You can toss all the stuff on there. How do you view it? Is it, is it from the, is it is an I, you know, an iPhone or
Andy Lynch: (22:47):
Droid or whatever? Or is it Yeah, so all the big players, Samsung, Google, apple, they’re all pushing the, the ar So a lot of the devices coming out now. Um, matter of fact, Apple’s newest iPad actually has a LIDAR sensor on it. Really? Um, so they can stop mapping from Yeah. The newest iPad has LIDAR on it. The, all the new iPhones for like the last two years have, um, an a chip. It’s, it’s for augmented reality built into ’em. So most devices, um, I think it’s like 3 billion I think was the number I just saw. That’s crazy. Devices, um, that have ar capability that are out there now. Um, so most of those, and then, yeah. Apple’s supposed to introduce their glass, I’ve heard as late as, uh, 2022, but I’ve heard, uh, it could be coming out actually 2021.
Drew Slocum: (23:37):
Okay. Yeah. I’m excited for that. I mean, Google glasses, you, when they came out with it, whatever, five or so you years ago, you’re like, all right, I see it. And it didn’t just never went anywhere, maybe cuz of the market’s not ready for
Andy Lynch: (23:50):
You. Yes. Uh, I, I’ve worn those, I’ve worn a couple sets of different ones and you know, the Google glass thing is, it’s, the viewing window was really just up in the top right corner of your, your field of vision. Right. Um, apples is, is, you know, looks like it’s gonna be completely immersive. That’s nuts. And supposedly they’re gonna look like a regular pair of glasses. The computing’s actually, it’s gonna be like the iWatch, the computing’s actually gonna be done on your iPhone. And then it’ll be, so really the, the glasses just become a display device. Wow. So they look like you’re wearing a normal set of glasses. People won’t even be able to see what you’re seeing through the lens. It’ll be like a one way view that this is, you know, what’s supposedly being leaked, how true it is or not. Sure. We’ll
Drew Slocum: (24:35):
Andy Lynch: (24:35):
Sure, sure. But I wouldn’t put it past Apple. I mean, they’re, they’re, they’re pretty slick. There’s glasses out there that are pretty, pretty immersive and they’re like 800 bucks. Um, I think there’s one called like end gear Okay. That I was thinking about buying, but we’ll, we’ll see.
Drew Slocum: (24:50):
Yeah, that’s, it’s, uh, it, it’d be in, it’d be insane if you could go to, you just toss your glasses on, have your phone in your pocket and just walk through and do an inspection. Yeah. Um, you know, especially if things are starting to get 3D mapped and the cost is obviously gonna come down as technology gets better and better. But, um, you know, I I, I sit on this new technical committee, um, for NFPA 19 9 15 called Remote Inspections. And it’s kind of right in line with what potentially, you know, a use for, for your technology mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and it’d be, it’s be gonna be very interesting, uh, to see the way that, that, uh, that standard evolves and, you know, I think it’s gonna come out for draft in the next, uh, I don’t know, six months or so. So the public will be able to get a look at it. But, uh, yeah,
Andy Lynch: (25:47):
Yeah. Forward to seeing that one and reading through it.
Drew Slocum: (25:50):
I mean the, the main thing, I’m not gonna give any secrets away, but, uh, essentially it’s, we’re trying to keep it open to, to a lot of different technologies out there and, um, you know, with remote inspection for, for building inspections for, uh, potential ITM inspections. So, you know, there’s a lot of stuff coming to the market. We gotta, we gotta make sure the code is kind of aligning with that, otherwise fire protection’s just going to keep getting passed by. So.
Andy Lynch: (26:17):
Drew Slocum: (26:18):
Um, but yeah, it’s, uh, it’s an interesting group of, uh, of people on there. There’s AHJs, there’s, uh, myself, there’s other software technologies. There’s manufacturers and even some, uh, uh, players in, in, in the, in the labor field as well. So, um, pretty cool stuff. Um, anything I didn’t really hit on on your fire vision?
Andy Lynch: (26:41):
Uh, no. I mean we’re, we’re in the development process. Like I said, we’ve started to 3D map some sites. Um, I’m hoping to get something to market, uh, this fall, end of the summer, this fall. So nice. Actually just keep an eye out. Um, and, and we keep doing, I, you know, I keep trying to update people on how we’re progressing on LinkedIn or, or on the website, which is the ar fire vision.com.
Drew Slocum: (27:04):
Yeah. I see a huge use for it. Um, I think starting out in more of your critical facilities where the owners, they definitely really care more about fire hazards and, and uh, liability on that. You know, the commercial side might take a little bit but think Yeah. You know, once there’s things start getting mapped, I think there’s a use for it. Right. If it’s already mapped, that’s probably the biggest cost to it.
Andy Lynch: (27:27):
Yeah. And our beta sites actually reflect that cuz we’ve got, you know, we’re, uh, I do a lot of work in, in high hazard areas. So, you know, we’ve, we’ve got beta sets lined up at oil refineries and, and you know, substations and chemical plants and, um, you know, those are the people that we’re kind of targeting initially because Yeah, there’s a lot and, and a lot of times your, your response personnel are, you know, local fire departments and they’re coming on scene and maybe they haven’t walked the site in over a year and they’re, you know, a lot of it is, well where’s this, where’s that, you know, <laugh> and, and this could really help them out. Sure. Uh, get that information quickly in, in the case of an emergency.
Drew Slocum: (28:07):
Yeah. I’ve, uh, I’ve talked to, you know, once, once New York, it’s back running again. There’s a, there’s a software company down there that deals with, you know, uh, emergency response so that, um, responders when they come to a scene, they, they kind of already know what’s there before they get into any trouble, you know? Right. Um, so that could fit right in with this. So maybe I, I should definitely put you guys in contact.
Andy Lynch: (28:32):
Drew Slocum: (28:33):
Um, so you, you mentioned before you worked more on the, the video imaging side, you know, transitioning away from fire vision here, but, uh, some of the, the detection, I know you kind of started your, your career with that, uh, right off the bat within, in college and in the master’s program or whatever. What is it, what is the future there? I mean, um, you know, there’s, there’s always, um, uh, thermal obviously imaging and then it moved to more what U V I R. Yep. And then now it’s, now it’s just straight video. Right.
Andy Lynch: (29:10):
Yeah. So, you know, if you look at the per, you know, it all started with the spot type detectors. And it’s funny, talking to my dad who’s now retired, he actually remembers the first time he saw a spot type smoke detector and a guy bringing it into the, the fire station and saying, you know, these are gonna be everywhere my dad’s going. Oh, well that’s good that that’ll help out <laugh>. You know, so, um, you know, getting the background from him and, and you know, beam detectors and air aspiration and yeah. Optical flame, big in the oil and gas and industrial. Um, we will later, you know, vid, it’s only been around for maybe a decade now or a little over a decade. Um, the next big thing, yeah, I, I would think so. Like a true thermal camera, you know, you have the FLIR cameras and people do use ’em for early warning and detection, but they’re not actually listed by FM or UL for fire detection. So you can attach ’em and that’s what I would like to see. I’d like to see a true, you know, like FLIR thermal camera that has a lot of sensitivity and um, you know, could be fixed in place and, and give you that. And, and one of the companies I work with, uh, fire Rover, which makes a a
Drew Slocum: (30:18):
Oh, the rover.
Andy Lynch: (30:20):
Yeah. Nice semi portable contained Yeah. Device that, you know, can look at, um, or it, it uses thermal imaging as its primary means cuz it’s so much earlier. It’s earlier than especially the places they’re going into. They do a lot of trash recycling facilities Sure. Where you have deep seated fires, it sees that hotspot way before a flame breaks out. So they’re faster than optical flame detectors, which can be, you know, seconds. So it gives them time to then fire up the equipment and actually manually start suppressing from their, their central station. So it’s a great technology for early detection and suppression, um, in those high hazard areas. And, uh, it’s just too bad cuz a lot of times to get approval they need to co-locate the flair camera with a, a listed optical flame detector. And really the flame detector is just there to check the box rather than, you know, do the early detection and the heavy grunt work that the flair camera’s doing.
Drew Slocum: (31:15):
Right. So it’s almost a, uh, it’s almost like a, a listing or even in that would be an FP 72, right? Where
Andy Lynch: (31:26):
Yeah, 72 would be, uh, kind of
Drew Slocum: (31:27):
Hold it back a little bit because it’s requiring, uh, a second, second, uh, detection function.
Andy Lynch: (31:35):
Yeah. And so they’re kind of ahead of the curve on the, uh, FM has their new, it’s, it’s called, I think it’s Smart Monitor listing where the monitor is actually automated and, um, they just released a new paper looking at that technology to actually reduce water demands, um, where you have issues with sprinklers, right. Because you’ll be, you know, you, you’re putting a hundred g p m on, you know, uh, a 10 foot square foot space versus, you know, your 0.35 G P M, you know, so it’s, yeah, yeah. You end up getting a lot more water on the fire quicker and, and have a better chance of final extinguishment, um, rather than sprinklers a lot of times are just for control.
Drew Slocum: (32:15):
Right. They’re just throwing, throwing water everywhere versus specific point, which if you can detect that, um, exactly. That’s, that’s crazy. Yeah. I, I, I hope, yeah, I, I’m trying to get somebody from some video imaging on here, um, either one of the main, one of the manufacturers or even beyond that, that understands it a little more. And maybe it’s, maybe it’s another talk with yourself, I don’t know, since you’ve been
Andy Lynch: (32:39):
With this. Yeah, I could do it. Or, um, Rick Jeffs, um, who works at Fike, I think he’s, um, he, he was with us when, when we were purchased by Fike and he’s still at Fike Oh, nice. Doing it. Oh, nice. So he’s got, you know, a lot of experience at this point. Uh, he’d be a good person to talk to.
Drew Slocum: (32:54):
Yeah. I just connected with a bunch of those guys on LinkedIn, so, um, that’s good. Uh, another thing I saw, and this is kind of off the topic of, of detection and, and AR and all that is, uh, you do have some experience in the, in the P F O S, which is, um, the, what is P F O S? What
Andy Lynch: (33:15):
It, uh, yeah, the, the, um, flooring compound in the correct foams being banned by by the epa. Yeah.
Drew Slocum: (33:25):
Yeah. So I, I did a podcast on it probably pretty early on. It’s funny, I just, I just Google it and it says PFAS in Connecticut and that’s, that’s where I live. So it’s near and dear to my heart. It’s the Poly Yeah. Polyfluorinated Alcohol Substances. So it’s, uh, it’s, it’s a chemical that’s in fire protection foam, uh, that’s used in a lot of high expansion foam and, and aircraft hangers and all that. So, uh, it’s been a topic of uh, uh, I don’t know the, you know, the fire protection side is on, I was on one and the EPA and Environmental is on one side. So it’s, uh, well, I guess what, what were you involved with there and what are your, what are your thoughts on and what’s happening while they’re facing this out?
Andy Lynch: (34:10):
Yes. One, I just, one to be knowledgeable about it for my client base, cuz I do a lot of work with foams and wedding agents and, and whether it’s, you know, people coming to me with new agents or, and it’s not just a foam issue, it’s actually in a lot of the N F P A 1818 a web wedding agents can have ’em in there too. So you gotta be careful just cuz you’re not using a foam doesn’t mean it, it not, doesn’t necessarily have the P F A S in it. Um, but then you look at, you know, what has to be done. So a lot of people go, oh, well they banned ha lawn back, you know, decades ago and we slowly swapped out. It’s not gonna be like that for the fire industry because you can, the, the um, ha lawn, you know, couldn’t be destroyed.
So what was out there was out there and, and it’s just, we can use it and it is what it is. It’s just they didn’t wanna make anymore, this can be destroyed. So a lot of people are gonna be responsible for cleanup, right. So now if you’ve dumped foam, you’ve got it in the ground, it’s gonna move through the ground into the groundwater and into the drinking water and then they’re gonna find it and they’re gonna, they can actually, you know, bore down and measure and see the trail back to where it came from. Um, so there’s a gonna be a lot of cleanup efforts for this mm-hmm. <affirmative> and the switch out isn’t just, oh, well I, I’ll just switch out the concentrate, throw the, you know, environmentally bad stuff away and put in, you know, flooring free. Cuz it’s, they’ve done a lot of testing that shows that the flooring free doesn’t perform as well as the ones with the P F O S.
But you know, we’re gonna be forced to get rid of the P F Os version. So we gotta figure out, well what do we have to do? Do we need to use, use calf systems? Do we need to up the amount we’re using Sure. Um, to equal performance. And so that’s kind of where I was attacking the problem from is, well, let’s actually, you know, stop looking at some, some test series where we can evaluate and figure out, well what do we have to do to the flooring free foam to make it as effective. Um, so that’s kind of how I’m attacking the problem.
Drew Slocum: (36:13):
Yeah, I know, I’m, I I have an upcoming, uh, podcast with one of the, the, the chemists involved in that. So, uh, it’d be interesting to see their take, you know, I I I I hear a lot of stuff on social media. They’re like, oh, you know, a fire is more, more to be concerned about than P FFA s And I’m like, well when you, I’ve seen so many false discharges of aircraft hangs because of whatever design, negligence, whatever you want, um, it seems like one happens every few months. So if those false discharges are happening, you know, that it’s not even fighting a fire so that they don’t have an argument there. Um,
Andy Lynch: (36:51):
Yeah. Well in, in hangers, you know, they used to be mad cuz you get a false discharge and a hanger and you’ve got to clean the jet up and that used to cost a ton of money. Well now you’ve got environmental cleanup and that’s the question I would pose that person that the dangers desmo fire, I’d ask them, have you had one and did you get the cleanup then? Right.
<laugh>, because sometimes the fires nothing compared to what, you know, cleaning the waterways gonna be Sure. The environmental impact and, and clean, you know, again, I’m not, I understand my sister and my father are firefighters and I don’t want ’em going into a dangerous situation. And that’s why the emphasis has to be on, let’s figure out what we have to do to make them perform just as well. Right. Whether it’s higher design densities or using calf systems. Um, because again, that the bills you’re gonna get from cleanup are gonna be astronomical. I mean, there’s that Houston fire that happened and burnt for days and they put tons and tons and it went right into the waterway. And I guarantee the bill for the environmental cleanup is gonna be more than the cost of that oil burning.
Drew Slocum: (37:53):
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I, yeah, I can, I can imagine. I, I, yeah, I mean, uh, so somebody’s gotta figure it out and, um, yeah, I wanna dive into a little more because I know, um, new York’s been big on it. Connecticut’s been big on it. The one happened out in California, I think there was one recently where somebody might have been let go at a hanger or at a, um, and they just, I think they tripped the system on on purpose. Maybe, I don’t know, I might be talking out of turn here,
Andy Lynch: (38:23):
But Well, yeah, I’ve seen, I thought I saw American Airlines. Yeah.
Drew Slocum: (38:27):
It might have been American Airlines. Yeah, <laugh>. Yeah.
Andy Lynch: (38:29):
And they had the picture of the big jets in there and the foam was piling up under the wing <laugh>. Yeah.
Drew Slocum: (38:35):
So, um, yeah. Interesting. So I’ll, I’ll I’ll keep on top of that.
Andy Lynch: (38:40):
Yeah. And one thing you should definitely discuss is, uh, the c the C eight and C6 foams. Correct. And the C eights, the, the chemical that got banned, but if you talk to the environment, like the epa, C6 is gonna follow right behind it. Yeah. So you’re just delaying your problem. Right.
Drew Slocum: (38:56):
So get so get rid of it all together. Right?
Andy Lynch: (38:59):
Drew Slocum: (39:01):
Yeah. Hopefully, uh, hopefully it moves that way. I think I’m talking to some, uh, Jim Swan, my, my buddy, my old pal from, uh, Ansel Days. I think he’s at, um, where the heck is he at Berg Foam now? And they’re,
Andy Lynch: (39:13):
They’re, they make a lot of the flooring free.
Drew Slocum: (39:15):
Yeah. They make a lot of the flooring free stuff, so, yeah.
Andy Lynch: (39:18):
Um, but when, when I get sent new stuff to test, whether it’s a wedding, the one of the first tests I run, and it’s only about $500 per sample is I test for the P F O S chemicals in it. Oh, nice. Whether they tell me it has it or not, I want to know. Sure. And I, and I’ve caught some that have it and they don’t even know it and, and end up being, you know, it’s like, look, you, you can, you know, you, you can use this, but it’s, I’m telling you, you’re gonna hurt yourself in the long run marketing wise because at some point you’re gonna have to disclose and you’re gonna have to, you know, change the formulation. So you might as well rip it out now and put it up Sure.
Drew Slocum: (39:54):
Redesign it, gonna have some unhappy customers.
Andy Lynch: (39:58):
Drew Slocum: (39:59):
So. Well good. Well this is, uh, this has been a good chat, Andy. Um, so kind of the last little piece to, to the episode is I, as I do something called a quick response round where I kind of fire a few questions at you just to, you don’t know they’re coming. Um, so yeah, let’s get right into it. Uh, I, I know you went to another Polytechnic Institute, but, um, I went to rpi who always beat you guys in football. I don’t know, <laugh>. So, um, I guess do, do you side with, uh, WPI more? Or wait, did you, did you do anything at Maryland or?
Andy Lynch: (40:40):
I did actually, when I was down here, my last class was at University of Maryland. And, and I actually, I took a good toxicology class that had, uh, purser who wrote the section on toxicology and the SFB handbook and Milky and Mower and Mower’s now out at, uh, Cal Poly. So I, I got a good cross section at University of Maryland.
Drew Slocum: (41:00):
So if you had to recommend somebody come and right outta high school, where would you recommend them go to school.
Andy Lynch: (41:05):
All right. I’m gonna try to <laugh> make this as political as possible. I’d say if they want to just get an undergraduate degree, go to University of Maryland cuz they have the undergraduate degree. Yeah. If they, if they’re gonna get, uh, a master’s in, want a mix of like chemical or mechanical, go to wpi cuz WPI makes you do a different degree as your undergraduate and then you can get a master’s or do what I did, do the best of both worlds and go to
Drew Slocum: (41:32):
Both there. You Yeah, I go to both. And I guess RPI is just out of this cuz they’re not fire protection. So <laugh>,
Andy Lynch: (41:39):
Although you went there and you, you dabble in fire protection,
Drew Slocum: (41:41):
Right? Yeah. Hey, Frederick Grinnell went there, so I got that for it.
Andy Lynch: (41:45):
Drew Slocum: (41:45):
There you go. <laugh>. That was a little, that was a while ago though. Um, so I, I moved to Connecticut in, uh, mystic, Connecticut area about a year ago. And, um, you moved to the PA area, right? Would you fly a Patriots flag down where you live now?
Andy Lynch: (42:06):
Drew Slocum: (42:06):
You do <laugh>?
Andy Lynch: (42:08):
Drew Slocum: (42:09):
Because I was about to fly an Eagles flag. I was about to fly an Eagles flag up here and I was like, eh, maybe now that’s not the, that’s the best thing to do up here.
Andy Lynch: (42:19):
Yeah. I, I get, I get some crap every once in a while, but, uh, you know, it’s, it’s a not, it’s hard to throw shade on a, a team that’s won, you know, six Super Bowls in the last <laugh> <laugh>, 20 years.
Drew Slocum: (42:33):
I’ll, I’ll, I’ll throw shade on Tom Brady. His golf swing was awful the other day.
Andy Lynch: (42:37):
Oh God. It made me feel good. <laugh>. Right? Prole can be <laugh>. He had some good shots though too.
Drew Slocum: (42:43):
I didn’t, I didn’t see where he hold out, but I, I I gotta re-watch it, but I guess it was like the, almost like made the broadcast.
Andy Lynch: (42:51):
Drew Slocum: (42:52):
That’s funny. Um, last one a little more kind of in the industry. I, I think you already mentioned this, but what, uh, you know, what would your, you know, I know it’s getting back into the video imaging, what would your preference be on a detection? Uh, thermal V I S D or U V I R?
Andy Lynch: (43:14):
Uh, well, okay, so I, I mean, I would love again to see thermal images imagers listed in, in allowed for the actual code use. Um, so that’s probably what I’d go with is, is the thermal imaging
Drew Slocum: (43:30):
If you could do it. Yeah, well, hopefully, hopefully that maneuver, you know, pushes that way and I, I believe, you know, there’ll probably be some more stuff with that. I think you were, somebody else mentioned that there’s some new technology coming out with, my cousin even mentioned it, I think too, and he’s not even in fire protection where they’re, they’re getting some, some crazy thermal, um, technology to, to measure people’s temperature with all the stuff going on,
Andy Lynch: (43:53):
So. Right. And you’re starting to see, uh, some of the companies, especially when vid came out, a lot of them started to pair their optical flame detectors and co-locate ’em with a camera. Um, and, and that’s the best of both worlds when you can get kind of a, a, a view almost combined vid and thermal together. Sure. And, and get those composing views even overlaid on, on top of each other. Like that quake that’s, you know, that’s, I think the, that’s huge. The cream of the crop.
Drew Slocum: (44:20):
All good. Good, good. Well this is, this is fun. This is fun, Andy. Um, all right,
Andy Lynch: (44:25):
Well thanks for
Drew Slocum: (44:25):
Having me. Yeah, I’ll, uh, I guess let let people know where they can find you. I’ll, I’ll obviously post it as well, but just, uh, yeah. Where can we find you?
Andy Lynch: (44:34):
Um, yeah, so my email is Jay Lynch at Fire Solutions Group. I’ve got a Fire Solutions group, uh, website, which is just www.firesolutionsgroup.com. And then if you wanna check out the fire vision and, and, um, that’s ar fire vision.com.
Drew Slocum: (44:51):
Cool. Yeah, it’s great. It’s been a pleasure.
Andy Lynch: (44:54):
Thank you. All right, thanks,
Drew Slocum: (44:55):
Andy. This has been episode 21 of the Fire Protection Podcast, powered by Inspect Point. Wanted to thank my guest again, Andy Lynch from the Fire Solutions Group to give a lot of knowledge on the, the new technology with augmented reality in the fire protection world. So, uh, I appreciate him being on and give us some insight into some other, uh, topics that he’s an expert on, both fire detection and, uh, some of the foam fire pri protection out there. Hope you enjoyed the podcast and please subscribe. Take care.