As our flagship product FireAngel Predict launches later this year we sat down with Chief Product Officer, Nick Rutter, to give you an insight into the history of FireAngel and where we are heading as a business.
Tell us a bit about your background, what did you do before you decided to launch FireAngel?
Before starting FireAngel in 1998 I was working in Hong Kong as a product designer for Philips, developing audio products. By trade I am a product designer, so I’ve always been interested in the design, creation and manufacture of products, hence my role as Chief Product Officer at FireAngel.
How did the idea for the business come about? How did your idea differ from other products available at the time and what were the main challenges you faced when bringing your idea to market?
At the time, the UK market for smoke alarms was flooded with products that ultimately provided a bad user experience. The short comings of a significant proportion of these alarms featured batteries that required changing frequently and sensing technology that prompted a high proportion of false alarms. The actual design of the alarms was also unaesthetically pleasing and obtrusive. This meant that homeowners had no brand loyalty, which is where we identified an opportunity to create a business for safety alarms that featured UK design and engineering combined with cost effective manufacturing. The main issues we initially faced when building the business was raising investment and gaining product approval on our initial range, which we eventually overcame.
How are you affected by recent changes in legislation?
Here at FireAngel we are actively involved in the key working parties that review legislation, ensuring that we are always up to date with changes in regulations regarding fire safety and carbon monoxide, such as Scottish legislative changes, announced 1st February 2019 and affecting all Scottish homes. We continually develop and enhance our product offering to ensure they are not only compliant with relevant legislation, but also go above and beyond in ensuring that all of our solutions offer the highest level of protection available.
Tell us more about FireAngel predict?
To properly introduce FireAngel Predict we need to go back to 2010 where we were extremely innovative in launching a stand-alone smoke alarm with its own diagnostics capability. Over 8 million of these alarms have been installed in homes across the UK by local Fire and Rescue Services. With millions of these alarms installed we regularly see alarms involved in real fires, this enabled us to analyse the data on these alarms to identify high risk patterns of behaviour that lead to an actual fire event.
This formed the creation of our unique patented technology, FireAngel Predict, which features Artificial Intelligence (AI) to analyse the data recorded in our alarms and constantly refine its ability to identify patterns of high risk behaviour. By monitoring dangerous behaviour as it happens, it enables the algorithm to prompt a non-time critical intervention, which will potentially prevent a fire and subsequent possibility of fatalities from occurring.
The unique algorithm that’s at the core of FireAngel Predict is continuously evolving, reacting to not only the activity of the alarms installed in a property but also the date, time and even the weather, to automatically improve itself in order to accurately identify high risk patterns of behaviour and a potential fire event.
Take a look at our latest video case study featuring Tyne & Wear Fire and Rescue Service showcasing our FireAngel Connect and Predict technology installed within the homes of vulnerable adults:
What’s next for FireAngel?
FireAngel’s future will feature an increased transition towards connected products, offering an extended range of interlinked Wi-Safe 2 products interoperable with other connected products in a property. There will be a move towards connected safety systems becoming increasingly common and we will be at the forefront of this technology as we continue to develop systems that can receive and decode information from multiple connected devices to provide the highest level of protection for residents.
Keep up to date with FireAngel Predict and sign up here for updates www.fireangel.co.uk/predict/sign-up.