Lumkani fire detectors

Detecting fires in informal settlements

Disaster Preparedness: Fire

Lumkani is an affordable fire detection and early warning system that aims to minimize the damage and destruction caused by fires in urban informal settlements. Smoke detectors are not well suited to these areas due to the prevalence of cooking, heating, and lighting methods that produce smoke.


Unlike traditional devices that detect smoke levels, Lumkani measures the rate of temperature increase to identify potential fires. The detectors are interconnected in a transmission network, and if a signal is not disarmed within 30 seconds, neighbouring devices are activated, and relevant authorities are notified. This facilitates swifter intervention before the fire becomes uncontrollable. Users pay a monthly fee for the detector and fire insurance, and they can also add funeral cover.

Social Impact

By providing low-cost fire detection and early warning systems in urban informal settlements, Lumkani helps to prevent the spread of fires and can save lives and property that might otherwise be lost. This is particularly important in low income areas, where a lack of access to insurance makes residents highly vulnerable to losing everything in fires.

Environmental Impact

Fires release significant greenhouse gases, and the destruction of property increases waste and demand for new materials. By preventing the spread of fires, these emissions and wastes can be avoided, and natural areas and vegetation can be protected from damage.

Success Factors
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Project type
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Social enterprise
Founding Organisation Two

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Founding Organisation Three

Social enterprise
Operated by
Households reached
UN Sustainable Development Goal(s)
Last edited on:
May 23, 2023
Shared on:
May 23, 2023

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