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Adam Bannister is a contributor to IFSEC Global, having been in the role of Editor from 2014 through to November 2019. Adam also had stints as a journalist at cybersecurity publication, The Daily Swig, and as Managing Editor at Dynamis Online Media Group.
January 14, 2016


Lithium-Ion batteries. A guide to the fire risk that isn’t going away but can be managed

5 Fire-Safety Innovations Showcased at CES 2016

With the internet of things dominating proceedings in Las Vegas last week we take a look at some fire-safety innovations for the smart home showcased at CES 2016.

Network-connected and issuing remote alerts these five products promise to have fewer false alarms than their analogue predecessors and enable users to be detect and act upon fire or high carbon monoxide levels even when not at home.

D-Link mydlink Smart Alarm Detector

D-Link announced the forthcoming launch of its Smart Alarm Detector at CES 2016. The latest addition to the Taiwanese multinational’s mydlink smart-home range, this detector will pick up the sound of smoke or CO alarms and alert you via smartphone. So even if you’re at work or on the golf course, you can be aware of an incident and take action.

The company, which in 2007 was featured in the Info Tech 100 rankings of the world’s best IT companies, says setup is easy. Just plug it in and it can start listening for alarms immediately.

OneLink Smoke and CO Alarm

A competitor to the Nest Protect, which was launched in 2013 and updated last year, OneLink’s Smoke and CO Alarm similarly sends remote notifications in case of an alarm, which you can silence via the app.

You can also check a log dating the time and date of previous alarms and check its status with Apple’s voice-command software Siri. Photoelectric smoke sensors help to reduce false alarms.

At 10 years the battery won’t be a regular source of hassle or cost.

The One First Alert alarm connects to any other interconnected alarms in your home via Apple’s HomeKit, which serves as a centralised hub coordinating connected accessories in a smart home.

onelink smart alarm

Smart upgrade for non-smart smoke alarms

You can go smart without throwing away your existing smoke alarm thanks to Roost. Installable in five minutes this smart battery sends notifications to a smartphone whenever the smoke alarm sounds, even while the user is away.

At five years the battery life is pretty impressive too.

The Roost Smart Battery was selected as a CES 2016 Innovation Awards Honoree in the Smart Home product category.

Roost Smart Battery with smoke detector 1-18-16 (2)

The smart lightbulb that detects alarms

The Sengled Voice not only detects smoke or CO alarms (and even a crying baby) but also serves as a Bluetooth wireless speaker. Moreover, this lightbulb – yes, a multifunctional lightbulb, daft as that sounds  – can search the web and check your calendar for appointments (the lightbulb as personal assistant, a logical progression).

It’s previous incarnation we covered after last year’s CES. Sengled also partnered with dictation software company Nuance and Audio Analytics to provide voice command functionality.

And guess what? This light bulb also, erm, fits into light fixtures and lights up the room too. Even in this barmy internet of things age, where you can smoke your phone or speak to your fridge, a light bulb still provides that core function.

Meanwhile, the Sengled Voice just slots right in to an existing lightbulb socket and lives there.

It uses Wi-Fi, not Bluetooth, for setup and controlling the bulb.

sengled voice light bulb

Halo Smoke alarm

The soon-to-be-launched smoke alarm from Halo Smart Labs also detects CO and issues voice alerts. The Halo+ model – there are three in total, with the basic model split between hardwired and battery power that lasts 10 years – also monitors the weather and talks to you in case of emergency.

Halo Smart Labs claims the alarm can discern the difference between fast and slow moving fires, with six different sensors that help reduce false alarms.

All very similar to the Nest Protect but the Halo alarm, thanks to the Lowe’s Iris system, will let you know of a broader range of emergencies, such as detecting floods, claims the manufacturer. The Halo smoke alarm was born was inspired by the 2011 EF-5 tornado in Joplin, Missouri, which prompted one of the co-founders to realise that current smoke detectors weren’t keeping up with technological advances.

halo smart labs

IFSEC International 2016 will launch the Smart Zone, featuring a replica ‘smart home’ showcasing how the latest, most innovative smart technologies and security products operate and interact, and featuring presentations on home automation, building automation and smart cities.

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