Sivakasi is the centre of the fireworks industry in Tamil Nadu, feeding nearly 90% of the country’s demand for fireworks. It’s also where a number of fire mishaps have occurred, leading to many casualties.
The 13-year-old son of one such victim (who luckily survived) has developed an inexpensive fire extinguisher that triggers a water motor when it senses heat.
Jayakumar, a Class 9 student, wanted to focus on preventing mishaps and subduing fires before they spread, ever since his mother, a daily labourer at one of these factories, suffered serious burns during an accident. The young teenager decided he wanted to invent something that would keep his mother and others like her safe at work.
Developed with the help of his science teacher, Karunai Das, the extinguisher has a heat sensor that detects a rise in temperature that could be caused due to friction. This triggers an alarm, which is connected to a water tank and a motor. A sprinkler that will douse the flames is activated without delay.
Jayakumar demonstrated the device at the Beyond Carlton Memorial function on February 27, where he explained the process with the help of a sensor and a cardboard model of a factory.
Jayakumar isn’t a stranger to innovating. Before this, he worked on developing an LPG gas leak sensor that works on the same principle, which won him national recognition.
He is now working with his teacher to develop the fire extinguisher model on a larger scale.