Friday 28 July 2017

Irish man invents gadget that could save lives by preventing house fires

The small gadget alerts people when their device is overheating

Sean O'Tuama invented the Firemole, a small device that could save lives
Sean O'Tuama invented the Firemole, a small device that could save lives
The Firemole can be attached to any plug
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

A Cork man has invented a new gadget that could save lives by alerting people when their electronic devices are overheating.

Electrician Sean O'Tuama (28) invented Firemole, a small device that can be attached to any kind of plug.

The Firemole can be attached to any plug
The Firemole can be attached to any plug

The Firemole will sound an alarm if the attached device overheats, preventing fires from breaking out.

"The device will alert people when the temperature of a device reaches over 54 degrees celcius. Any temperature over 50 degrees can damage human tissue so it will alert people when it is too hot," Mr O'Tuama told Independent.ie.

Mr O'Tuama said that the device is a fire prevention tool rather than fire detection.

"It by no means should replace a fire alarm, but it can help tell you when to turn off your device to prevent a fire.

The small device alerts people when their device overheats
The small device alerts people when their device overheats

"I absolutely think that it will save lives. Everyday life is associated with electronics and they can be dangerous. This device could save lives by alerting people before a fire breaks out."

The Cork man said the Firemole is particularly helpful for parents, as children have many electronic devices in their rooms.

"A charger can overheat and start a fire because it is covered in blankets or because there is a fault somewhere."

If the alarm sounds on the Firemole device, Mr O'Tuama said it should be unplugged immediately and the device should be taken to an electrician to examine.

The idea for the Firemole started when Mr O'Tuama's own home almost went on fire.

"I was at home one night and the lights started flickering. When I checked the fuse box it was melting because of a fault in one of the switches. It was continuing to overheat so luckily I knew to turn off the main switch outside and a fire was prevented."

The entrepreneur said he was very surprised to see that nobody else had come up with the simple device.

"I started developing it last July and I couldn't believe that there wasn't anything similar."

The gadget could be used on phones, but Mr O'Tuama said that more specific uses will be added on down the line.

Through funding from Enterprise Ireland and Cork City Enterprise, Sean was able to develop the device in one year.

The Firemole will be on sale this July with a retail price of €19.99.

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