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Using solar power to prevent shack fires

At a recent WWF renewable energy festival in Cape Town, i Power SA launched a solar powered shack fire prevention kit (Shacurity). This kit comprises a solar panel, panel mounting stand, led lights, 12 V socket for a car cell phone charger and a control unit that includes a 120 DB siren. This siren is triggered either by a panic button or an optical smoke detector.

The Shacurity kit is a professionally designed solar lighting system that incorporates specially designed low power consumption electronic circuitry enabling the smoke detector and alarm.

“We were spurred into designing this system after yet another needless death at our local informal settlement, Overhills in Kleinmond,” Paul van Dyk, director of i Power SA, says.

“Having been aware that solar lighting is a viable alternative to the candles, which are so often the cause of fires, and being passionate about sustainable community upliftment solutions, we designed the Shacurity kit to be expandable, maintainable and easily installed. We are hoping for the widespread uptake of this product that can reduce the instances of shack fires by providing not only the solar lighting, but also an early warning system and a means to deal with a small fire.

“We are exploring several avenues to make decision makers aware of our solution. We have committed as part of the 110 % green campaign to have rolled out at least 500 units in 2014.

We have the ability to ramp up our production dramatically should this be widely implemented. We also have a plan in place to empower entrepreneurs by training and support to install and maintain our systems.”

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