On Christmas Eve of 2011, Marc Toland’s neighbors’ house burned down, killing three children and their grandparents. After some research, Toland found that technology for fire alarms has not advanced since 1965 when battery-powered smoke detectors became available to the public. Even today, most smoke detectors can’t be placed near potential sources of fire as they’ll melt. The detectors are typically placed in hallways where they can detect smoke once a fire has already started.
Safer Alarm’s heat sensor, in contrast, is separate from its alarm and can be placed near the heat source. It detects a rapid temperature change and communicates wirelessly with the alarm, so consumers will be aware of a potential fire immediately. Even if the sensor melts, the alarm will still go off. The heat sensor will be placed in four main places- the kitchen, the laundry room, near any power strips or in basements near humidifiers or dehumidifiers.
“Our products, for the first time, allow the consumer to place our sensor units right in harm’s way…We don’t get the fire out, we get the family out,”
says Toland. By detecting rapid changes in heat directly at the source, families will be able to escape before smoke and fire occur. Another advantage of the Safer Alarm heat sensor is that it doesn’t detect smoke- just heat, eliminating the cause of most false kitchen alarms.
Safer Alarm is not currently available to the public, but Toland is meeting with major retailers like the QVC and Best Buy at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Along with brick-and-mortar stores, the heat detectors will be sold mainly through existing security systems, like ADT or Frontpoint, or cell phone plans like Verizon. Detectors will be available to ship at the end of January at saferalarmsinc.com. While the sensors do not currently connect to a mobile app, Toland hopes to make the devices connected by the third quarter of 2019.
To learn more, read our article on protection from house fires.