Smoke alarm systems send texts from abandon homes

Updated: Mar. 10, 2017 at 10:24 PM EST
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Ed Blayney (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Ed Blayney (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Nathan Armentrout (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Nathan Armentrout (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The City of Louisville is working with programmers and engineers to install smoke detecting and communicating technology inside abandon homes in Louisville.

A system, called CASPER, detects the sound of a smoke alarm inside an abandoned home. It then sends a text message to alert neighbors, first responders and city officials. 
"Last year there were 39 fires that started in vacant properties in Metro Louisville," Innovation Project Manager Ed Blayney said. "Six of those spilled over into adjoining homes and that's a real problem."
The city came up with a contest at this year's Hackathon; they asked engineers and programmers to come up with a way to create technology that would alert first responders to abandoned homes on fire in Louisville.

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Nathan Armentrout and his team won the challenge, coming up with CASPER.

"We came up with an idea of a smoke detector, detector; which is what we called CASPER; Completely Autonomous Solar Powered Event Responder," Armentrout said. 
The system is powered by a solar panel. A microphone detects the audio of the smoke alarm going off, it monitors and recognizes the wave forms the sound the alarm makes and then sends a text message to a designated list of people.

"It texts myself, the city or the neighbors next door to let them know there's a smoke alarm going off you should be vigilant," Armentrout said.

The team has been piloting the CASPER program since October. In April, the city will likely be ready for a full scale launch of this technology. Blaynley said the ultimate goal is to get CASPER in every abandoned home in Louisville and surrounding communities.

Right now, the CASPER is being tested in eight homes in West Louisville.

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