Fire and Lightning Protection Coil

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Fire and Lightning Protection Coil By John R. Thompson

I was a child of the 1950's and hula hoops were used by the young and old. After breaking several, we strung them together to make a huge hula hoop. That was boring, so we tried something new. We strung a bunch of different colored hoops together to make a spiral. We had great fun playing and crawling around and through the spiral tunnel.

Years later I was in Vietnam and had to string concertina wire around our camp. It was much different from the old spiral hula hoops we made as kids. It was razor-sharp, heavy-steel that always got tangled. One day a flare set a garbage dump on fire, but the flames never got to the grass behind the concertina wire.

With global warming now, wildfires seem to be a universal problem. It got me thinking back to that dump and the concertina wire. How could concertina wire, with all its open voids stop a fire?

After doing some research on fires, I figured out the solution. The metal wire of the concertina wire absorbed the heat from the flames below the ignition point of flammable material on the other side of the concertina wire. The air spaces between the spiral concertina wire quickly dissipated the heat.

I thought, what if spiral concertina wire was made from aluminum? It is lightweight, easy to carry, and a great conductor of heat. Without razors or barbs, it could be easily carried, wouldn’t get tangled, and could be spread out quickly in front of a fire to stop it from spreading. Like a hula hoop, a firefighter could crawl into the aluminum spiral for flame protection. It could also be set up as a tunnel so people could crawl out of a burning building. Crawling is safer than running in a smokey building, and the spiral tunnel would lead to an exit, not a dead end.

There are other uses besides fire prevention. If a person is inside the aluminum spiral and both ends of the spiral are pulled to the ground, it forms a smooth, cylindrical dome over the person. This forms a Faraday Cage, preventing lightning from striking the person.

The aluminum coil could be set up permanently around important structures, cabins, and vehicles, or used temporarily around fire engines, power lines, telephone and cell towers. The coils can be used over and over again, or recycled.

Concertina wire has never been made from lightweight aluminum and never made without sharp barbs. Concertina wire was always made for personal barriers, never for fire prevention, fire protection or lightning protection. This patent-pending invention is novel, very usable, needed, and easy to manufacture. It can save property, save forests and save lives.

Figure 1 shows the portable, firesafe/lightning safe concertina wire (1).
Figure 2 shows the portable, firesafe/lightning safe concertina wire (1) protecting a person (2) from fire or lightning.


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  • Name:
    John Thompson
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  • John is inspired by:
    Protect people and structures.
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