Smoke Detector/emergency Egress Product for Older Users

Period of Performance: 08/01/1991 - 07/31/1992


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Comsis Corporation
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION: (Adapted from Investigator's Abstract) Older adults are particularly at risk from residential fires. From the mid-sixties, death rates from fires and burns are substantially higher than for the general population. For a variety of reasons, older residents may have more difficulty detecting and escaping a fire. Residential smoke detectors have proven to be a valuable means of reducing the risk of fire injury, and older adults may be presumed to derive particular benefit from these devices. Unfortunately, current smoke detectors are poorly designed to meet the needs of older people. The project will develop a commercially viable fire safety product for the elderly that will significantly enhance safety, security, and independence. It is based on design criteria, developed in Phase I, which address the capabilities and needs of older users as the present inadequate products do not. The proposed product is a modular smoke detector system designed around a stand-alone, single station smoke detector which can communicate remotely with other smoke detectors and remote alarm units (in bedrooms, etc.) in the house. It features significant improvements in maintenance, alerting, communication, alarm credibility, and egress support. The project includes design, prototype development, and a variety of test and evaluation procedures.