This article is available also in spanish here
Fire protection technology: Home automation systems in New Orleans
My list

Author | Eduardo BravoAccording to statistics from the United States National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), most fires occur in households. This situation compromises the lives of people living in these households and their neighbours, while also generating significant costs for the treasury. According to the NFPA data, apart from the greater risks of fires, an essential factor is the existence of old or deficient electrical installations.

The reasons why households are specifically the most affected by these types of catastrophes are easy to establish. In urban environments, there are proportionally more family dwellings than public buildings, infrastructures or offices. Furthermore, and unlike industrial warehouses or large companies, they do not usually have fire protection technologies in place that enable the fire protection services to quickly intervene.new orleans fires

How did New Orleans manage to reduce its fires?

In this regard, the city council of New Orleans has adopted the slogan «Hear the Beep, Where You Sleep», and has applied it in a programme via which, residents can request the free installation of up to twosmart smoke detectors in their homes. Residents simply have to complete a form available on the municipal website and answer a series of questions to establish the most suitable detector based on the characteristics of the residents.

Thanks to these data, it is possible to establish, for example, whether residents are older people or if someone with mobility problems or hearing disabilities lives in the household. This enables the fire services to know when they need to change the batteries in the detectors in each household – the batteries last ten years- or if they need to install a model which, instead of a typical audible alarm, incorporates light signals or a vibration system in the bed or on the pillow.

Since it was inaugurated in 2013, around six thousand fire detectors have been installed, at a cost per unit of around five dollars; an amount that has been redeemed through the donation made by the Fire Protection Service of the state of Louisiana and private donations. The total cost amounts to less than thirty thousand euros, which is a much lower amount than the cost of the firefighters that intervene to put out a fire.new orleans firesIn terms of the cost of putting out a fire, values need to be taken into account such as the cost of transporting the extinction measures, the salary received for each hour of work and the use of specialist materials such as the pumps, which require special maintenance. Furthermore, if the service is provided in areas in which there are toxic emissions, the rates may increase drastically. Even if the human factor is stonily eliminated from the equation, the benefits are obvious.

These costs have to be paid, after the intervention of the firefighters, by the individuals or entities that have benefited from the service, although they are normally covered by the insurance companies by way of the policies taken out by citizens. In any event, whoever pays it, these are a posteriori solutions, therefore the damage and even the possible victims have already occurred. new orleans firesTherefore, improving the safety of citizens and ensuring that cities are smart environments in terms of fires, does not always depend on major investments or complex technology. New Orleans is proof that it can be achieved with simple devices and awareness programmes. In fact, according to Tim McConnell, the Fire superintendent from the New Orleans Fire Department, during his time at work, he has never witnessed a fire resulting in death when there has been a fire detection system in place. Clear proof that small investments can go a long way in creating safer cities for everyone.

How reliable is home automation for fire control?

Although New Orleans' approach to fire control relies on electronics, it's not a proper smart solution as defined by current trends. Some examples of basic home automation would include stoves with automatic shut-off safety devices, which cut the power to the range when not in use or in the event of overheating and unattended spillage.

Given that most home fires are more likely to start in the kitchen, appliances with enhanced safety and timers could help to prevent a non-trivial amount of accidents. Smart ones such as those connected to the cloud bring even more safety, as their owners can check from their smartphones if they left the oven on and even receive a notification if they leave their homes before turning it off.

The ability to shut off the electricity of most rooms right from a smartphone, as provided by many smart home packages, could also mean increased protection against home fires during vacations.

As for their reliability, all these solutions have been shown to be safe and proven, although cloud-connected devices are dependant on QoS and whatever degree of support may enjoy over the years, as obsolescence becomes more pronounced for Internet-based devices.

How does a smart fire alarm work?

smart fire alarm

Smart fire alarms differ from plain ones in that they are capable of sending alerts to smartphones in real-time, on top of sounding loud alarms so people in the vicinity may take notice. Some models may also notify private security firms so they can dispatch a team and inform the authorities if it comes to it.

Smart fire alarms provide increased security levels compared to traditional smoke detectors, especially if they are integrated with other smart devices such as cloud-based security cameras, which allow users to remotely check the situation at home if they receive a notification from the alarm.

Images | Broesis,USA-Reiseblogger,PDPhotos,USA-Reiseblogger, Farakos/iStock

Related content
Post-pandemic cities spark safety concerns for three-quarters of Brits
Post-pandemic cities spark safety concerns for three-quarters of Brits
Home working increases cyber-security fears
Home working increases cyber-security fears
Microsoft: Smart Places and Infrastructure with IoT, AI, and Digital Twins
Microsoft: Smart Places and Infrastructure with IoT, AI, and Digital Twins
What technology is used to prevent and punish crime? - Infographic
What technology is used to prevent and punish crime? - Infographic
Vienna will install smart traffic lights that will recognise when pedestrians want to cross the street
Vienna will install smart traffic lights that will recognise when pedestrians want to cross the street
The future of cities lies in data
The future of cities lies in data
Usama Bilal: “It is important for cities to act as health prevention agents”
Usama Bilal: “It is important for cities to act as health prevention agents”
Fire protection technology: Home automation systems in New Orleans
Fire protection technology: Home automation systems in New Orleans
The justice administration in smart cities: between streamlining and automation
The justice administration in smart cities: between streamlining and automation
Social score system: A tool to oppress or reward citizens?
Social score system: A tool to oppress or reward citizens?
Should we be looking to the stars or at cities? Practical approaches to the phenomenon of overpopulation
Should we be looking to the stars or at cities? Practical approaches to the phenomenon of overpopulation
These are the cyber threats that jeopardise the security of smart cities
These are the cyber threats that jeopardise the security of smart cities
How does technology enables San Francisco to become a safe city for citizens?
How does technology enables San Francisco to become a safe city for citizens?
And then what? Cities after COVID-19
And then what? Cities after COVID-19
Arca: Wave control for better health
Arca: Wave control for better health
Xpernest: Handy tools to ensure a successful social distancing
Xpernest: Handy tools to ensure a successful social distancing
Microsoft: A strong commitment to a planet-size challenge
Microsoft: A strong commitment to a planet-size challenge
Urban overcrowding and rural depopulation: Are there any solutions to these problems?
Urban overcrowding and rural depopulation: Are there any solutions to these problems?
Technology in smart cities: from chips to people
Technology in smart cities: from chips to people
The Sails of Scampia: when inclusive architecture turns against people
The Sails of Scampia: when inclusive architecture turns against people
Black boxes in cars: safety or the beginning of the end of privacy in vehicles?
Black boxes in cars: safety or the beginning of the end of privacy in vehicles?
The algorithm that clears the way for emergency vehicles
The algorithm that clears the way for emergency vehicles
How cities are protecting elderly people from COVID-19
How cities are protecting elderly people from COVID-19
The next step in urban evolution: hyperconnected cities are on the way
The next step in urban evolution: hyperconnected cities are on the way
This is how emergency systems work in a smart city
This is how emergency systems work in a smart city
Neareo: Powering QR codes
Neareo: Powering QR codes
Facial recognition and combating crime: why biases can lead to a justice system full of prejudices
Facial recognition and combating crime: why biases can lead to a justice system full of prejudices
Proxyclick: Getting ready for the future of work
Proxyclick: Getting ready for the future of work
IEE: People Counter
IEE: People Counter
Ai.just: AI to keep COVID-19 in check at work
Ai.just: AI to keep COVID-19 in check at work
Go Zero Waste: A guide to zero waste living
Go Zero Waste: A guide to zero waste living
Recommended profiles for you
Remember to activate your profile to network!
Activate profile
ÖG
Özlem Güven
Kentkart
Smart Transportation
CS
C S SHAJI Shaji
SVC IT consultancy
Director
JB
José Barrantes
Oca Global
I+D+i Operation Manager
Alexey  Pinchuk
Alexey Pinchuk
SearchInform Ltd
Chief Business Development Officer
Ugon Alverde
Ugon Alverde
Fira Barcelona México
Productor
me
marotel eric
iac partners
Partner
SJ
Sivaram J
Kongu
Student
CC
Camilla Zaqiah Naswarita Camilla
Putra Indonesia University
Staff
TT
THOMAS EDISON TOLEDO COBOS
MUNICIPIO DEL DISTRITO METROPOLITANO DE QUITO
GENERAL INSPECTOR
MG
Marcus Gava
M2play
Coo
JN
Jimmy Napoleão Alves
US IMPORT LTDA
manages company acquisitions and sales decisions
VN
Vishal Nandakumar
StartUp
VP/Founder
MS
MANSURKHAN SIRUMUGAI SHABEERKHAN
Almana Networks Solutions
I\'m a Security Systems Engineer, handling design, estimation, pre-sales of the the Security Systems
KB
Khodor Baraket
Mobius MEA
Key Accounts Manager
aa
adey abualia
Zenith technologies
project manager
GP
Greg Pittman
Pittman & Associates, Inc.
consultant
Meilute Mikalajunaite
Meilute Mikalajunaite
Two-i SAS
Marketing Director
RN
Rishabh Narang
Student
2nd Year
AG
Ariel Gomez
Smart City Mag
editor in chief
RP
Robert Pinkas
VisionCraft, s.r.o.
Partner, Founder, COO

Only accessible for registered users
This content is available only for registered users
TO: $$toName$$
SUBJECT: Message from $$fromName$$