Safer Alarms Makes Smarter Heat Detectors

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 Alarms has produced a heat detector that can detect possible fires before they happen

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 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. 

Aliza Vigderman

Aliza Vigderman

Aliza is a journalist living in Brooklyn, New York. Throughout her career, her work has spanned many intersections within the tech industry. At SquareFoot, a New York-based real estate technology company, she wrote about the ways in which technology has changed the real estate industry, as well as the challenges that business owners face when they want to invest in property. At, an education technology website, Aliza created digital content for lifelong learners, exploring the ways in which technology has democratized education. Additionally, she has written articles for The Huffington Post as well as her own content on Medium, the online publishing platform. Aliza’s love of journalism and research stems from the excellent Journalism program at Brandeis University. At Brandeis, Aliza interned as a research assistant at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, a non-profit “news room without walls”. There, Aliza was paired with an investigative journalist and used academic databases to obtain data on everything from the suicide rates in Bhutan to local Boston court cases. Her last position was as an account executive at Yelp, educating business owners on the power of technology to increase revenue. Throughout, however, her heart remained with tech journalism, and she’s thrilled to be writing for Security Baron. When she’s not keeping afloat of the latest tech trends, Aliza likes to cook, read, and write. A former high school “Class Clown,” Aliza has completed two feature-length screenplays, a pilot, and countless comedic sketches. On her days off you can find her relaxing in Prospect Park, trying the latest flavors at Ample Hills Ice Cream, and spending time with friends and family.

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