Children who must be exposed to the winter elements now have safety tarp
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/17/2012 -- In the Lockport school, students were being forced to stand out in the severe cold due to fire alarms. The bitter cold and potential for danger sparked an idea with Mark Blieske and Dr. Giebrecht from the University of Manitoba. Together, the two designed a system patented KUWL or Keeps Us Warm Longer.
The new warming system was sparked after students were forced to remain exposed to -30 degree weather during false fire alarms. In such weather, the students would have almost welcomed the warmth of flame as they waited for school busses to pick them up and take them to a safe place.
Luckily, all the alarms were false, of course, but the consistent cold-weather bearing got Blieske thinking.
“I thought, something had to be done about this,” said Blieske. ”You can’t have kids freezing outside with no jackets on in our winters.”
That thought is what prompted Blieske to contact Dr. Giebrecht, commonly known in the area as ‘Dr. Popsicle’, and the two developed a cold weather emergency shelter.
The system is essentially giant tarps that can hold up to 70 people inside them at once. There are a set of beam poles to support the tarps and keep them off the students backs during an in-the-cold wait out in the center of a field, where one must remain during a fire drill.
The tarps works in two primary fashions. First, it uses the radiant and kinetic heat of the individuals underneath the tarp to trap in warmth. Second, the tarp is thick and durable enough to help shelter the kids from the wind. After 10 minutes, the tarps can have a raised temperature of 10 degrees from the starting temperature.
The two men who designed the system are hoping that the other remote-location schools begin to use the tarps as a way to protect their students and their staff from the abrasive and potentially dangerous cold during the hard winters.
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