The maintenance needs of today's detectors are extensive. Their ability to detect fire rapidly is reduced because they are typically installed at a distance from the fire source. This limitation leads to delayed extinction response times or false alarms. The resulting personal and financial burden is immense. Thanks to EU funding, the EU-funded SMOKESENSE (Fire Fingerprint Sensor-On-A-Chip For Early Fire Detection) project developed an innovative fire detection system that contains smart sensing technologies. It worked on minimising the occurrence of false alarms and on quickly detecting fire or hazardous situations that could potentially cause an outbreak of flames. To achieve its aims, the project team developed a system prototype whose main components include sensors, a micropump, a central processing unit, an input/output module and memory for algorithm storage. Team members conducted a chemical analysis of various combustible materials under multiple fire scenarios. The results showed that early and reliable detection of a fire or a developing fire can be achieved by identifying particular groups of odours together with fire-related gases. Armed with these positive results, the project partners applied for a patent after the sensing technology and its components were successfully demonstrated. Micropump prototypes were developed and tested with the sensors, helping to meet the system's need for reduction in power consumption and cost. Noteworthy as well, the team examined mandatory international standards and tested the system against EU standards that specify requirements and laboratory trials for all fire detection and fire alarm system components. SMOKESENSE prototypes have effectively demonstrated their ability to pre-empt fires. Commercialisation of the product has been initiated, a development which should translate into keeping people and property out of harm's way.
Fire detection, smoke detectors, SMOKESENSE, extinction, flames