Home Safety

Saver could be a lifesaver if a fire starts in your home

editors-choiceMany consumers classify the smoke detector as a must-have product for their homes. But just because a smoke detector goes off and everybody hears it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be able to get out of their homes before inhaling smoke, which is the cause of death in many home fires.

patent-claimedThe Saver Emergency Breath System is a small, personal device that enables users to breathe clean air in the event of a fire. The device can be activated in less than five seconds, according to its Indiegogo campaign. It was designed with a triple filter system that its maker says removes toxic gases for up to five minutes.

Each Saver costs $69. For another $30, consumers can opt for a version that includes a flashlight to help see through smoke and a built-in alarm for others to know where the person wearing it is. Each will ship in July. Saver’s maker is hoping to raise $50,000 by June 26.

It’s hard to tell from the campaign video exactly how simple it is to operate a Saver. It could be too hard for some people, especially young kids, to operate it, especially when they are frightened as a fire is raging near them. In that case, the airline rule of having adults put on their own device before equipping others would likely prevail. But certainly such a device will come in handy for many consumers and could indeed be a lifesaver for at least some of those people if it indeed works as effectively as its maker claims.



SensorJet is a smart system for putting out fires

Kitchen safety is important given the fact that about half of house fires start in the kitchen. Having working smoke detectors, the right tools at hand, knowing how to use them, and remaining calm usually keeps a bad situation from turning into a disaster. But what if the fire starts when no one is in the room or when no one is home?

SensorJet is an alternative to a sprinkler system that hooks directly into a person’s existing kitchen water supply. The product has a ceiling heat sensor that works to alert the water jet to send out a fine mist of water to put out a fire, significantly reducing water damage. It can be installed by a plumber, whereas a sprinkler system installation can be more complex. In the event of a fire, it uses far more water when it goes off, causing far more water damage and flooding.

Another thing to consider about kitchen fires is that most of them are grease fires. That being said, water makes grease fires worse rather than putting them out. The best thing for a grease fire is to turn off the heat source if possible, and smother the flames. Baking soda does the job, but it requires a ton to properly put out a fire. A kitchen fire extinguisher is also a good option. SensorJet could possibly be useful in other rooms with existing water supplies, such as a basement laundry room or a master bathroom connected to a bedroom. This campaign is seeking to raise $150,000 by November 23, 2014, and early bird backers can get one system for $230, which includes shipping. Expected delivery is June 2015.

Camping Cooking

Ace 1 biomass stove makes the world your kitchen

The Premise. It’s nice to be able to cook a meal on the grill or in the great outdoors when on a camping trip. But finding material to make a campfire can be a hassle and leave you smelling like smoke. So what might a modern option look like for those who enjoy camping but detest the hassle that can come with mealtime?

The Product. Ace 1 takes the old Bunsen burner idea and gives it an eco-friendly twist. The ten pound cooking stove uses both bio mass and solar energy, so it burns cleaner to the point of eliminating smoke. Another nice feature is its speakers that provide dinner music for added ambience. And later on, campers won’t be left in the dark with the included solar chargeable LED light with built-in battery. The light will certainly come in handy for when the spooky stories get the kids freaked out. A USB and DC port are also built in to this cooking tool for those who just can’t stand being separated from their gadgets.

The Pitch. This particular cooking stove not only has campers in mind, but also those in developing countries. The initial focus appears to have been a simple but safe, healthy and environmentally-friendly cooking gadget that expanded its reach to the less fortunate. The €50,000 campaign also boasts of offering a product that can provide some great control over how much heat is being put out for cooking purposes.

The Perks. Backers may choose from quite a few tiers to offer their support for the development of this product, with an early bird option of €159 for one product. For an extra €10, backers may choose from their favorite of six color options. Expected delivery is January 2015.

The Potential. If one prefers cooking over a Bunsen burner type gadget to grilling their food, then this product will likely be useful. The fact that it takes nearly any size pot means that backers would be able to cook for fairly large groups when camping. There is no replacement for the savory taste that comes with grilling or roasting over an open flame, but this product does have some nice conveniences that are likely to delight campers and it would make for a nice addition to camping gear. Other camping stove campaigns backers may want to check out include The Sun Juicer, Charby, and Campfire in a Can.


Linse lighter points your flame so you won’t feel the burn

LinsePeople use lighters all the time, but the traditional lighter design has not evolved quickly. The flame burns awfully close to where your thumb holds the button down. The Linse lighter lets you adjust the nozzle so that the flame comes out away from your hand for lighting candles and other flammable objects. For maximum portability, the nozzle tucks right back into the lighter so it’s not sticking out all the time. Many of us have burned ourselves on lighters, so this is a clever little device aimed at fixing that problem. One Linse lighter costs $4 with estimated delivery in September 2014. Linse hopes to raise $5,000 on Kickstarter.

Imaging Smart Home

Butterfleye camera flits between security and fun functions

The Premise. Home security is a constant concern. Many security companies cost a lot of money and only set off an alarm, leaving you wondering what’s really going on at home. Others are set off by pets or even by yourself when returning home. 

The Product. Butterfleye is a small wireless camera that watches over your home while you’re away. It connects with your phone so that you can check in with the camera at all times. This little security guard also has two-way audio so you can speak with whoever you see on camera. With a smart operating system, Butterfleye can not only detect motion, but also easily distinguish between humans and pets. A heat detector registers rapid change in temperature and even fires. The camera is portable and can even be used to take spontaneous photos and videos of fun moments. Those pictures and clips captured can be accessed from the app and shared with friends and family via e-mail or social media.

The Pitch. Butterfleye’s video shoes a modern career woman, mom and wife using the product with ease. It’s simple and to the point. Butterfleye is featured on its very own website and not on a crowd-funding site. The creators of the product have not shared a pre-order goal.

The Perks. One Butterfleye on the site goes for $199, $50 less than the retail price and is set to ship in early 2015. The site also offers a three-pack of Butterfleye for $547.

The Potential. Home security has become more and more simple in the recent past with people avoiding signing costly contracts with security companies and instead opting for a lower-cost option. NOVI, another standalone security device, features a camera, smoke detector and learning software. NOVI lets the user contact the police or help easily when the alarm is triggered. It is unclear whether Butterfleye has the same feature, though since it connects to your smartphone, it would not be hard to send for help if your home is in danger. In addition to its security functions, Butterfleye is also a cool camera that does the work of documenting memories for you, so that you can enjoy the moment. This multi-tasking function along with everything else Butterfleye does makes it a very interesting product. There is certainly room on the security/camera market for Butterfleye.

Camping Music

Powered by candlelight, Pelty is the retro-futuristic Bluetooth speaker

peltyIt’s a question as old as time itself: how does somebody stranded on a desert island with only a book of matches and some dry timber enjoy their music with Bluetooth speakers? Pelty is the answer, and also the world’s first fire-powered Bluetooth speaker. By lighting a candle and enclosing it in the Pelty casing, the thermal energy from the candle is transferred into electric energy that powers the speaker, providing great entertainment during camping, outdoor activities, romantic moments, or as a neat party trick. Pelty will be shipping out to consumers in November 2014, and is available to those that pledge $199 or more, with bonus scented candles included.

Camping Cooking

Campfire in a Can bypasses the hunt for wood while camping

Campfire in a CanSometimes the best but hardest part about camping is using a fire to cook food. Dry wood can be difficult to find and cooking over an uneven spit is dangerous. Campfire in a Can solves these problems. It is a compact kit that comes with a vertical burn chamber as well as a grill top to use for cooking. This product burns both coal and wood and evenly distributes heat upward and to the surrounding area to cook food and warm campers at the same time. One Campfire in a Can costs backers $59 at an early price or $68 regularly for delivery in October 2014. Reaching a goal of $80,000 in a two-month campaign on Kickstarter will spell success for this product.


TorchGlo simulates a warm campfire, won’t prevent hypothermia

torchgloGoing camping is one of the highlights of summertime. For light, warmth and cooking, most opt to make a fire to enjoy at night. If firewood is too hard to find or a fire is hard to light, backers can use TorchGlo. TorchGlo is an orange orb that your headlamp goes inside. It provides a nice, warm light and can be used outside in lieu of a fire or inside of the tent for some not-so-harsh light. One TorchGlo costs $20 at an early special price or $30 at a regular price with estimated delivery in September 2014. This lighting product from California hopes to raise $14,000 in a 30-day Kickstarter campaign.


Kindling maker chops wood in half, may leave full amount of hassle

KindlingMakerHere’s a tool to help mini-lumberjacks looking to tap their inner Paul Bunyan, or at least ease th task of building up the firewood reserve. Sure, getting kindling is a pain, but you certainly don’t need to carry around a big piece equipment for it. Especially when the guy who designed the so-called “Kindling Maker” struggled to make it work right on his own Kickstarter video.  It seems clunky and not at all easy to use. Honestly, it’s probably easier to just whack it with the axe. Gizmodo features the Mr. Quicksplit, which is a similar device, but neither one seems to be overly efficient. However, those who do choose to invest in the Kindling Maker can back $99 and expect shipment in May 2014.

Camping Cooking

Vertex stove brings the heat, keeps it light

The Premise.  So you plan on spending some time in the great outdoors.  Most of the essentials are small and readily portable: water, compass, map, maybe a multitool.  But what about cooking?  How do you go about fitting something that can contain your fire, shield it from the wind, and prop up your pot/pan into your backpack?

The Product. The Vertex Ultralight Backpacking Stove addresses this problem. With no moving parts, it is literally nothing more than three stamped-out sheets of metal that assemble into a base for your pot, a support for your fuel, and a wind shroud for your fire. These sheets have holes and tabs stamped out to accommodate the Vertex’s interlocking assembly, and arc along their long ends, which form its base and the stand for your pot.  It can burn solid fuel tablets, or also be used in conjunction with the Trangia Spirit Burner to burn denatured alcohol. It then disassembles into a flat, 3×5-inch package that fits easily into its rip-stop nylon storage sleeve (fancy name for pouch), and almost any pocket.

The Pitch. While clear and demonstrative, most of the product video consists of a slide show There’s little more than a couple clips of the creator in the woods and some panning shots of the product in action, with “action” meaning “sitting there on fire,” in this case. About a third of the video focuses on the fuel the Vertex uses rather than the product itself which, let’s face it, consists of little more than a few thoughtfully configured sheets of tempered stainless steel.

The Perks. Backing the project for with $50 will get you a Vertex of your own ($45 if you get in early enough).

The Potential. The Vertex is a clever and elegant product, but with such a small foot print, and nuanced design, it might not work on a rough or slanted surface.  Conventional burners and emergency stove kits cost as little as $4, folding aluminum wind shrouds as little as $8, and other folding stove kits as little as $9.  That being the case, 50 bucks doesn’t seem like much of a deal for a device whose purpose can be outsourced to a bunch of tactically arranged rocks.