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Smart door attachment slows house fires with devilishly simple technique

Do you know why firefighters recommend sleeping with your doors closed?

There are plenty of smart home gadgets around, but relatively few which could actually help save your life. That’s where a new product called LifeDoor comes into the picture. Recently launched on Kickstarter, LifeDoor is a device designed to be mounted onto the existing bedroom doors in your house. In the event that it hears your smoke alarm go off, it automatically shuts the door, illuminates the room with an LED light, sounds a secondary alarm, and sends you a notification through the connected app. This means that you’ll know if it’s been activated even if you’re not home at the time.

“A closed door is vital in the event of a fire; this is especially true for those with limited mobility, [such as] kids [or the] elderly,” Joel Sellinger, a professional firefighter and co-founder of LifeDoor, told Digital Trends. “With today’s modern furnishings and building construction, you now have three minutes to escape a house that is on fire. This number was 17 minutes, 40 years ago. A device is [therefore] needed to increase times of survivability.”


Sellinger said that he set out to create LifeDoor after wanting to find a similar device for his own home, only to discover that it didn’t exist. “I assumed there was a product like this and while on duty one evening, worrying about my own family and our habits of sleeping with the door open, I went on Amazon to order one,” he continued. “When I realized there wasn’t anything like it, I started sketching the idea that very night.”

Installing the device is straightforward, on a par with putting on a door stop which mounts to a door hinge. “We have a broad target audience from smart home enthusiasts, new parents, fire service families on the consumer side, but also we see traction through insurance companies that insure un-sprinkled multi-family buildings,” he said.

As ever, we offer our usual warnings about the risks inherent in crowdfunding campaigns. However, if you’re aware of these issues and still want to get involved, head over to the project’s Kickstarter page to put down your hard-earned cash. Prices for the LifeDoor device start at $79. Provided it is able to reach its fairly modest $50,000 production funding target, shipping should take place in January 2019.

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