Beefing Up A Smoke Alarm System With Video, Temperature, And Connectivity

Here’s a little smoke detector hack which [Ivan] has been working on. He wanted to extend the functionality of a standard detector and we’re happy to see that he’s doing it with as little alteration to the original equipment as possible (this is a life-saving device after all). He sent all the build images for the project to our tips line. You’ll find the assembly photos and schematic in the gallery after the break.

As you can see his entry point is the piezo element which generates the shrill sound when smoke as been detected. He connected this to his own hardware using an optoisolator. This allows him to monitor the state of the smoke alarm on his server. It then takes over, providing a webpage that display’s the board’s temperature sensor value and streams video from an infrared camera.

Of course this is of limited value. We’ve always made sure that our home was equipped with smoke detectors but the only time they’ve ever gone off was from normal cooking smoke or after an extremely steamy shower. But still, it’s a fun project to learn from and we’ve actually got several of the older 9V battery type of detectors sitting in our junk bin.

5 thoughts on “Beefing Up A Smoke Alarm System With Video, Temperature, And Connectivity

  1. I actually see value in the idea. Smoke detectors primary objective is to wake you from sleep if there is a fire. Lets say your house is empty you are at work. A fire starts. This device could SMS your phone, and enable you to inform the local fire department potentially earlier then billowing black smoke passers by see at a fraction of the cost of a monitored security system or similar since you do the “monitoring” by carrying your cell. It should be a minor script on the server to send the sms, which once received would prompt you to view the web page, verify a problem and inform local authorities. Minutes , even seconds count with fires and the advanced warning might just be the difference between needing to repair a room in your house and getting a new house and every thing in it, at a price nearly any one with the prerequisite internet connection could afford.

  2. I’m very interested in this build, because it reminds me of a great project of students from INSA-Lyon (French engineering school) : they successfully created a peer-to-peer network of all-in-one {smoke detectors & automatic evacuation signs & temperature sensors} to indicate the real-time safest evacuation path in a building.

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