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Tag Archives: Safety

StrikeAlert Personal Lightning Detector

StrikeALert Personal Lightning Detector (Images courtesy Outdoors Technologies)By Andrew Liszewski

The StrikeAlert is a small pager-sized device that provides an early warning of approaching storms that are producing lightning. When there is a strike an audible alarm will sound and a series of colored LEDs will let you know the distance from as far away as 40 miles to within 6 miles. It can also let you know if the storm is getting closer, moving away or remaining stationary based on the detected lightning strikes. On 2 AA batteries the unit will run for about 100 hours which should get you through even the worst of storms.

I was actually surprised to find that the estimated odds of being hit by lightning in a given year are as high as 1/400,000. All things considered though it’s still pretty rare and I don’t know if carrying around a lightning detector all day is really that necessary. Common sense should be more than enough to let you know if it’s time to put away the golf clubs and head inside when the weather turns nasty.

The StrikeAlert is available on the Outdoors Technologies website for $79.99.

[ StrikeAlert ] VIA [ The Gadgeteer ]

Honda Type R Child Racing Seat Accessory

Honda Type R Child Seat (Image courtesy CARSCOOP)
By Andrew Liszewski

Honda just released the Civic Type R Sedan in Japan and as part of the car’s accessory list the company will also be selling this custom Type R child racing seat. I’m not sure if it’s only available in this red and black finish or if it can be custom ordered to match your own car’s interior. What I do know though is that it’s definitely a lot cooler and safer looking than the phone books and bungee cords my parents used when I was a kid.

Unfortunately the special Type R seat seems to be limited to Japan at the moment and can only be purchased from a Japanese Honda dealer for about $370.

[ CARSCOOP – Do it like dad: Honda Type R Child Seat ] VIA [ Autoblog ]

Painful To Watch McLaren F1 Crash Test

McLaren F1 Crash Test (Images courtesy Motor Industry Research Association)
By Andrew Liszewski

For auto-enthusiasts it’s pretty heart-breaking to see when a rare sports car like a Ferrari Enzo gets totaled in a crash. But many people forget that before these vehicles can be sold to the public they need to undergo safety testing. And unfortunately these tests usually leave the vehicles in a write-off condition.

Here’s a rare video of a McLaren F1 undergoing a crash test at the Motor Industry Research Association facility in England. Even though it’s being driven into a concrete wall at 40 mph fans of the car will be pleased to see how well the carbon fiber chassis actually holds up. In fact reading up on the test it seems that had it not been for a dummy engine being used the car would have actually been drivable after the crash. I guess when you drop a million dollars on a ride you get what you pay for.

The actual crash test video is available after the jump but be forewarned – it’s not easy to watch a car of this caliber being destroyed.

[ Autoblog – McLaren F1 crash test ] VIA [ Motor Authority ]

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Extra Safe Life Vest Includes A Two-Way Radio

Two-Way Radio Life Vest (Image courtesy Hammacher Schlemmer)By Andrew Liszewski

Not only is this life vest approved as a personal flotation device by the U.S. Coast Guard but it also has a special pocket for holding one of two included 14-channel, two-way radios. That way the radio remains easily accessible in the event of an emergency without being a nuisance the rest of the time. The special pocket also has an easy to open zipper closure for rapid removal.

The exterior of the vest is made from neoprene like a wetsuit while the interior is filled with 100% PVC foam that is segmented and beveled for ease of maneuverability. The included radios are waterproof up to 3 feet and have a range of about 1.8 miles. They each have a large, easy to use talk button and run on 3 AAA batteries.

The Two-Way Radio Life Vest is available from Hammacher Schlemmer for $129.95.

[ Two-Way Radio Life Vest ]

Pulse Barryvox Avalanche Transceiver Greatly Increases Your Chances Of Survival

Pulse Barryvox Avalanche Transceiver (Images courtesy Popular Science and Mammut)
By Andrew Liszewski

If you’re depressed at the thought of the warmer weather ahead you might want to consider taking up mountain climbing. Places like Everest have snow and sub-zero temperatures all year long plus a whole list of other conditions that could end up killing you. To avoid that nasty outcome you might also want to consider investing in one of these rescue devices from Mammut.

The Pulse Barryvox Avalanche Transceiver is a small, PDA-sized device that you basically keep strapped to your person at all times because it serves two very important functions. The first is to act as a signal beacon in the event you’re caught in an avalanche. This of course helps rescuers quickly locate and dig you out greatly increasing your chances of surviving. The device also uses a sensitive accelerometer to measure your breathing. These measurements are used to calculate your ‘health status’ which is radioed to the rescuers so they have an idea of your condition before they get to you.

The Pulse Barryvox can also be switched to a ‘search’ mode and used to locate a fellow climber who’s been caught in an avalanche. It uses a simple LCD screen that indicates both the direction and distance to the climber and can even track multiple persons at the same time. While the screen might look pretty basic it’s also visible at all angles and in direct sunlight which is pretty important in a life or death situation.

At about $400 the Pulse Barryvox isn’t cheap but if it could help save your life it’s probably worth every penny.

[ Pulse Barryvox Rescue Gear ] VIA [ Popular Science ]

Celsius Tires Have Retractable Studs

Qtire Celsius Tires (Image courtesy Qtires)By Andrew Liszewski

The Qtires line of Celsius tires seem to have come straight out of the lab at MI6. Using what appears to be a special air bladder the tires actually have retractable studs that can be extended to give the vehicle a bit of extra grip when road conditions become slippery. When no longer needed the studs can then be retracted where they sit below the tread surface.

Besides the obvious safety benefits for driving on snowy, icy or even wet roads the Celsius tires are claimed to actually work better than conventional studded, winter or ‘all season’ tires. And because the studs are no bigger than they need to be they don’t tear up the surface of the road like snow chains can. While they do cost more than a standard tire they also mean you don’t need to buy a second set for winter driving.

The company even claims the tires can help save the environment since there’s less need to apply damaging salts and chemicals to icy roads when using them. Of course that would require every single vehicle on the road to have a set of Celsius tires installed and that’s probably not going to happen.

An interesting side note, in college I was actually known as the ‘retractable stud.’ To this day I’m not really sure what that meant but I still wear the T-shirt they made me.

[ Qtires Celsius Tires ] VIA [ gizmag ]