Nowadays, it often feels as if all the obvious things have already been invented. As a result, some of us mistakenly believe only large corporations with impressive funds and manpower are able to come up with something truly innovative. Yet there are still inventive individuals who attentively watch out for a gap in the market. The idea behind the "Zimmermann P2" voltage tester, for example, which was due to celebrate its INTERSCHUTZ debut in Hannover this year, was presented by a firefighter to Thomas Zimmermann, a physicist and building & material inspector based in the Niederzier municipality near Cologne.

Developed entirely in Niederzier and built almost exclusively using components from Germany, this voltage tester detects and signals dangerous alternating currents ranging from 25 to 1,000 volts and direct currents ranging from 40 to 1,000 volts in water. This makes the tester a handy piece of kit, as such currents are difficult to trace using existing equipment and consequently pose a significant risk during firefighting and rescue missions. The compact "P2" particularly aims to impress with its user-friendly operation and clear visual and acoustic signals. When fully charged, the "P2" can provide measurements for up to 24 hours in continuous operation. And it couldn't be easier to use. Simply put the unit down, pull out and connect the earthing clamp on the twelve-meter cable, turn the unit on, pull out the sensor sphere attached to the sensor cable (also twelve meters in length) and throw it into the water - the test result will be displayed immediately. The unit also automatically detects earthing connection errors and flags them up by means of a warning signal.

Martina Zimmermann GmbH (52382 Niederzier, Germany)