Most people who are killed in structure fires die from the smoke not the flames or fire. Generally they are overcome by the smoke and lack of oxygen as the fire takes all the oxygen and replaces the airspace with smoke. There needs to be a way to get these people out of the fire situation and structure immediately to prevent loss of life, however without good visibility one cannot see to get to a fire escape, stairway or exit.
I propose a drop system similar to the one's used on aircraft when there is a breach in the system and the pressurization is lost. In the event of a fire inexpensive goggles with infrared lenses would drop from the ceiling near the fire hoses and alarms. The goggles would have lenses, which would be small pieces of film similar to the paper sunglasses, which are given out at the 3D movies. The goggles would keep the smoke from the person's eyes and allow them to see thru the smoke to escape.
Additionally on the bottom of the goggles would be a small breathing apparatus with five minutes of air supply similar to the devices used in the James Bond movie for underwater breathing. We now have these devices available to Navy Seal Teams. We must find a way to make them cheaply and in mass to make this project viable, but I believe this is possible thru entrepreneurial spirit.
This project should be funded thru US Naval Research because it can be used on ships and submarines to save lives of seamen. The technology should be inexpensive and cost effective to build these units for a couple dollars each and then the technology transferred into the private sector. Think on this.
"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs