FACT: Litter is a Deadly Fire Accelerant

FACT: Litter is a Deadly Fire Accelerant

As much as it pains us to say this, deadly wildfires are the new norm. 

This year’s wildfire season is hotter and more dangerous than what the U.S. and the world have seen in recent years. 

Litter = Deadlier Fires

This is why we must approach fire accelerants like roadside litter & illegally dumped tires much more seriously & scientifically.

First responders know that trash is a common point of origin of many fires, including improperly disposed spontaneously combustible materials.

As citizens who benefit from the life-saving and extraordinarily difficult work of firefighters and other first-responders, we need to do all we can to support firefighters.

accident action danger emergency

One of the tools that we can all give firefighters is the ability to better understand, prevent, predict and respond to seemingly little hazards that go on to grow into major catastrophes.

It’s not just about removing the litter that serves as an accelerant.

Global Litter/Hazard Maps = Smarter Planning

CleanApp also permits us to use litter analytics in order to make smarter planning decisions.

At CleanApp, we’re building a system for processing billions of real-time litter/hazard/incident reports from billions of global users. Our plan for reaching this scale is simple: we blur the outdoor/indoor, public/private, city/state, and all other artificial barriers to CleanApp.

Here’s our logic:

  1. The easier it is to do litter/hazard reporting, the more people will send these reports;
  2. The more CleanApp Reports that are sent out about particular objects or conditions, the higher the likelihood of a response.

Saving Firefighters’ Lives

Having a global litter/hazard mapping tool in use by billions of people on a daily basis means streaming litter/incident maps that allow first responders to know much better what they are getting into.

As they are rushing into a burning forest or a burning building, they want to have maximum data about the terrain, and what they are likely to come across.  If a building or an abandoned field was used as a dumpsite, there might be an old car battery or discarded chemical drums.

The photo that you see above isn’t some stock photo of chemical drums. It’s an actual dumpsite we found a few blocks away from our headquarters on the Mississippi River, in Downtown Memphis, Tennessee.

We have no idea what is in these drums until we get to cleaning them on World Cleanup Day (September 15). But here’s what we do know: in the event of a fire at any of the abandoned warehouses just next door to this dumpsite, we want firefighters to be able to open a map and see every CleanApp Report submitted for that location.

More Data, Less Injury

Armed with streaming CleanApp data, firefighters will have far better situational awareness. They’ll be able to bring appropriate tools and protective gear.  They will be safer.

fire portrait helmet firefighter

It’s not just about big hazards, like oil drums and car batteries.  Even small objects can be potentially deadly in a fire.  For instance, today’s consumer-grade phone batteries pose massive explosive threats.  And the same is true for many other types of common litter.

The bottom line is this: the more CleanApp data we generate, the more likely that we’ll get appropriate response actions. At a minimum, firefighters will be able to use this data to do a threat scan prior to putting their lives on the line on behalf of all of us.

How can you help?  Please support our petition to get Google to activate easy litter/hazard reporting.  For Google, it’s literally as easy as flipping a switch.

Our petition isn’t a plea for charity.  CleanApp represents the 21st century’s lowest-cost, highest-yield data mining opportunity.  Please visit our Change.org petition here.