Patent information sparks ideas to fight forest wildfires

The role of patent knowledge in firefighting technologies

Following the success of the Fighting coronavirus and Clean energy technologies platforms, the EPO has launched the new Firefighting technologies platform. It offers easy access to information on technologies that help fight and mitigate the environmental impact of forest wildfires.   

Forest wildfires are a serious danger to humans, nature, the environment and the global economy. Alone in Europe in 2022, there were forest wildfires in 26 of the EU's 27 Member States, helping to make it the worst year in recent history in terms of burnt area. And there is no end in sight.   

The growing intensity and frequency of forest wildfires means technological innovation to deal with this problem is ever more critical.   

Just as in many other technical fields, patent documents are a rich source of information - mostly not available elsewhere - on cuttingedge technologies in this area.   

The new Firefighting technologies platform uses 30 search concepts in the following fields:   

  • detection and prevention of fires  
  • fire-extinguishing  
  • protection equipment  
  • post-fire restoration  

These search concepts were developed by a team of EPO subject-matter experts and patent knowledge specialists along with counterparts from the national intellectual property offices of France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain. The search concepts will be updated regularly.   

For each search concept, it takes four simple steps to view the search results in the EPO's free Espacenet search tool:   

  1. Go to the Firefighting technologies platform.  
  2. Choose the area of interest.  
  3. Select Explore our datasets - this triggers the Espacenet search.  
  4. View the results and adapt the query as required. 

Firefighting technologies platform – Fire extinguishing section
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Example of Aeroplanes section and Explore our datasets link


View of an Espacenet result list for a specific search concept
(click on the image to enlarge) 

Keywords: Firefighting, Espacenet