Sfty aims to prevent fire disasters around the world with smart technologies

Sfty aims to prevent fire disasters around the world with smart technologies
By offering a system to connect smoke detectors in a building, Norway-based startup Sfty aims to prevent fire catastrophes worldwide and to change the smoke detection industry.

The Sfty system works by linking all the smoke detectors in a building, and when one detector senses smoke, alerts may be sent to other apartment units in the building.

In case of smoke detection, a management service called Alarm Central will be notified first, before it contacts the resident to verify the presence of a fire, calls the fire department, and alerts the whole building about the danger.

The Sfty system consists of the smoke detector Sfty Sense, the Sfty app and the management panel Sfty Control. The system received the Innovation Award, in the Smart Home category, at CES 2017.

With the Sfty app, a user can build his social safety network by inviting family, friends and neighbors, to monitor his device and be there in case of an alert, said Espen Schrøder, Chief Operating Officer at Sfty.

The system works on both Wi-Fi and radio frequency. In case Wi-Fi connectivity is down, the data can still be passed around via radio, which consumes less power. Nonetheless, as long as one Sfty Sense is connected to the Wi-Fi, the message can travel to the cloud, and be passed to other users’ smartphones.

Home automation functions

Sfty Sense also has motion detection, humidity sensor and temperature sensor built-in. Besides preventing fire and burglary, the device may enable home automation as well. For example, a heater may be turned on when the temperature drops to a certain level. IFTTT will soon be integrated with the sfty system, said Schrøder.

Sfty control is also compatible with smart devices made by other manufacturers. Users may add rules to dictate what will happen when there is a water leak, or when the air quality goes down, for example. Different incidents can have different rules.

Certification organizations and insurance companies in the industry have a tendency to protect classic, old-fashioned smoke detection technologies and are not very open to new technologies, and have not approved IoT and radio technologies to be applied in safety practices.

The problem with the old technologies is that it’s got limited intelligence, and cannot connect to the cloud or a smart building system. “People need a system that goes beyond just smoke detection,” Schrøder said.

Market potential

Sfty mostly target building owners, rental property managers and residential committee that is in charge of a building’s safety measures.

With 10,000 devices sold in the first year, Sfty is expanding beyond Scandinavian countries. It is piloting in the UK and Switzerland. While there is fire danger around the world, Schrøder believes Asia and Europe has the greatest demand.

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