Previously, we talked about DIY smart home security systems, but in this article, we will focus on fire-safety devices and fire alarm systems.
These devices are crucial for early fire detection and could mean the difference between life and death. With alarms scattered around your home, you can be warned of fires and hazardous gases before they get out of control. They can also help firefighters find the source of the fire alarms were placed in good locations. These devices cannot be taken for granted, especially considering most fire-related casualties occur while people are sleeping.
The importance of fire and smoke alarms cannot be stressed enough, whether it be a standalone smoke detector or an entire fire alarm system consisting of smoke, CO, and flame detectors, and other precautionary devices. Some smoke detectors are very cheap, costing less than $10, while others can cost over $300!
If you don’t want any costly branded fire safety devices, you can always make a DIY Smoke Detector. There are tutorials and showcases of various smoke and fire detection alarms from online communities that you can build and install into your home.
Let’s start with simple smoke detectors. Most of these projects involve just a few, inexpensive materials that you can easily find online. The alarms could be Arduino or Raspberry Pi based and housed in simple objects like a shoe box or a custom 3D printed container. For a smoke detector, the main sensor required would be the gas sensor, which detects harmful gases like smoke and CO. The flame and temperature sensors would also be good sensors to incorporate. Other useful sensors and hardware to include in smoke detectors are:
- The DHT temperature and humidity sensor for more accurate temperature measurements and to check the humidity
- The buzzer sensor to provide the alarm sound
- A few LED’s to alert through light stimulation
There are many examples of these DIY smoke and fire alarms like this Fire, Gas and Smoke Detector that uses a MQ-2 gas sensor, flame sensor, and an Arduino. Its simple design can be used for any home automation project to alert of dangerous gases.
There is also a Raspberry Pi Fire Alarm that is similar to the Fire, Gas and Smoke Detector, except that it just uses the flame sensor, and switches the Arduino for a Raspberry Pi. This project would take about 10 minutes to complete, which is great for someone who is just starting off on home automation and monitoring.
If both of those examples sounded easy to complete then try incorporating them into this Minion Fart and Smoke Alarm, and get some 3D printing practice in as well. This project runs on an Arduino Mini and an MQ-2 sensor for the smoke (and fart) detection. Hardware used to make the project ascetically pleasing included speakers, LED’s, and 3D printing filament. This is a fun project that is not only entertaining but also practical.
Smoke alarms are easy to make and extremely practical when implemented. There is no need to spend $300 to keep your home safe from fire when a few jumper wires, sensors, and a microcontroller will do the job.
Smoke/Fire Alarm Notifiers
Wouldn’t it be nice if when you accidentally set off the fire alarms you could easily shut it off with your phone instead of it blaring until the smoke dissipates? Or if when the fire or carbon monoxide alarm is low on charge you could just switch it off the notifier from your phone instead of hear the beeping until you changed the battery?
Well luckily there exists smart smoke alarms like the Google Nest Protect that can do exactly that: control your smoke alarm from your phone and even from your voice. For the small price of $119.99, all of that could be yours in one smoke alarm. Or, you can use your existing $10 smoke alarm and make your own Wi-Fi smoke alarm notifier using some simple hardware.
Most of these projects alert the home-owner by sending them a notification when their existing fire alarm has gone off, which is useful when they are not home to attend to the issue. Others designers built their own fire alarm that can send the SMS if fire is detected. And then there are some who tried to make their own version of the Nest Protect. The following are a few examples of these DIY notifiers and IoT alarms.
A $10 Wi-Fi Smoke Alarm Notifier (Roost/Nest Alternative) that utilized an ESP8266 and a microphone sensor will notify your phone if your fire alarm is blaring. For $10, you have just turned your fire alarm into a smart IoT fire alarm.
Another designer made a Fire Alarm with SMS Notifications using an Arduino, GSM/GPRS Modem 800H or 900A, and an IR sensor. This alarm would use an IR sensor and send an SMS if it detects fire. This is an easy device to make that may mean the difference in life or death during an emergency.
Finally, one designer decided to create an Internet Enabled Smoke Alarm after discovering a video of bugs in the Nest Protect. This device also uses the ESP8266 to send email alerts through Wi-Fi to the user if their alarm is sounding. However, this design is more compact and has an on and off switch for sending notifications.
Fire Alarm Systems
Now that we have some DIY fire/smoke alarms and fire/smoke detectors, we need something that can host and monitor all of those devices at once. Since the example devices mentioned above run on either Raspberry Pi, Arduino, or an ESP board, then all of the devices can connect to an IoT service to be monitored. All we need is a data integrating, visualization central, adaptive IoT platform. Luckily, there is an IoT platform that can do all of those requirements and more, and it doesn’t cost much either.
Featuring uBeac! They can connect ESP8266’s, Arduino’s, and Raspberry Pi’s, and other devices to their IoT hub. They process the gateway data and extract the sensor data using edge computing.
After connecting all of your Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and ESP8266 based fire-safety devices to uBeac, you can monitor them on an IoT dashboard. If the alarm detects smoke or fire, you can customize uBeac to display the important data in a unique and alerting fashion. Take the case where you want to check if the levels of smoke rise over 300 ppm in one room. You can make an indicator widget on the dashboard change color to alert danger for that specific gas sensor.
When you are making DIY smart home monitoring devices you should have a powerful but affordable IoT platform to run your system. uBeac can be that IoT platform for you, so come and join our service.
If you have any questions on how uBeac works or what is compatible, leave them in the comments. Happy connecting!