Lumkani: A poor man’s fire detector

14 April, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Lumkani is a poor man’s fire detector as the device can detect fire quickly and in a much cheaper way. It is a great friend of the poor, especially for slum dwellers. As we know, fire preparedness has been a much-talked-about issue recently mainly due to the loss of lives and properties in Chawkbazar and Banani fires.

 The incidents raised the high-profile issue of public interest – the low-preparedness in fire safety – especially in concrete structures. Somehow, the slum fire has escaped our attention so far.

A single slum-fire can turn thousands into paupers suddenly and can cause deaths in over-crowded shanties. Slum dwellers live with whatever they have in the small rooms made of bamboo and plastic sheet, which are highly flammable.

The new device sets fire alarm as soon as it detects heat and thus helps in dousing fire quickly before it spreads.

The World Vision Bangladesh, in collaboration with the Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence, Dhaka North City Corporation and an African social enterprise Lumkani brought this poor man’s fire detector to Bangladesh and has already installed the device in the crowded Kuril and Kallyanpur slums in the capital city.  

The device has earned appreciation by world media for its effectiveness as a fire detector. It is not like the conventional smoke detector which is widely used in the country. The device detects abnormal rise in temperatures and sets the alarm and thus helps dousing fire at an early stage.   

The device has a network in each of the slums and sounds the alarm in all Lumkani units within a 40-meter radius. It can single out the blaze in a separate unit with a different alarm tone. Also, it identifies the GPS location of the fire and sends SMS to neighbourhoods. If the response to the SMS from the people is a 'yes', it automatically triggers emergency call to the firefighters.

The outstanding features have made it a unique and an essential device for every household and office in the country. Let it help avert fire any in the future from the slums to the high-rise structures.