AnalogFolk has created a working prototype for a smoke alarm disguised as a Christmas tree bauble, which has been built using Arduino and gas sensor technology.
The idea for the bauble, called ‘Techoration’, comes from the fact that UK statistics show that Christmas is a heightened period for fire-related accidents in the home. According to figures published by The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) candles and faulty fairy lights can contribute to house fires during the period, whilst Christmas trees, decorations and cards are also notable fire risks.
Situated near the source of numerous fire hazards during the festive period, the aim is to provide as early a warning as possible should the worst happen and a fire breaks out. The bauble has also been crafted so that it be something that is easily packaged and sent to friends and families to hang on their Christmas trees.
Designed and built by AnalogFolk, the ‘Techoration’ prototype features an Arduino hardware and gas sensor module, which is small enough to fit within the bauble. The Arduino hardware has been coded to trigger a buzzer in the event of the gas sensor being tripped. The bauble also consists of a small vent for potential harmful fumes to reach the custom built detector, and the external material will be coated in a flame retardant to ensure the alarm will work in the event of a fire.
The gas module itself (MQ-2 Gas Sensor), in addition to smoke, is sensitive to carbon monoxide, methane, propane, butane, LPG and higher concentrates of hydrogen.
If you are thinking of building one for yourself, you can read full instructions from Mate Marschalko, a Senior Creative Technologist who built the technical component of the alarm, here.
PLEASE NOTE: Whilst the device is a working prototype, it should not replace certified and tested Smoke Detectors within the home.