New IoT and AI technology incorporates solar-powered sensors and a mobile app intended for a wide range of users affected by outdoor fires and wildfires, including homeowners, landowners and agriculture, hospitality, utility, and government organizations.
Torch, a solutions provider for early-stage outdoor fire detection, today announced the launch and preorder availability of its low-cost comprehensive solution for early-stage outdoor fire and wildfire detection.
Torch provides solar-powered sensors that continuously monitor an outdoor area for any signs of fire and a free mobile app that immediately notifies users about fires not only on their property but also in the surrounding areas and communities. Each Torch device costs $299, provides up to 10 acres of coverage, and incorporates multiple sensors that measure visual, thermal and gas characteristics for the most comprehensive outdoor fire detection available.
“Torch cares deeply about democratizing outdoor fire detection and is committed to a comprehensive, affordable solution for the widest range of users, including consumer homeowners and landowners, agriculture, hospitality, and utility companies, and government organizations,” said Torch CEO and co-founder Michael Buckwald. “Torch is the first company to bridge the gap between indoor and outdoor fire detection. Mandatory indoor smoke detectors have dramatically reduced indoor fires in magnitude and quantity since the 1970s, but until now there hasn’t been a similar detection solution designed to combat outdoor fires, which have continued to grow at over 30% each year unabated.”
Torch survey results reveal health and economic concerns about outdoor fires across the U.S.
To accompany the launch and preorder availability of its low-cost comprehensive solution for early-stage outdoor fire and wildfire detection, Torch commissioned a survey, conducted by Propeller Insights, of the general population of the United States regarding their concerns and experience with outdoor fires and wildfires. Among the 56 data points included in the survey, more than 75% (77.6%) of the 1,046 respondents are concerned about the potential of wildfires affecting them and their family’s health and well-being in 2023. More than 45% (46.1%) say that they or a family member live in a state that has been affected by wildfire smoke that has caused the air quality index to meet or exceed unhealthy conditions in the last five years. Nearly 75% (73.9%) believe the 2023 wildfire season could result in lost jobs and negative economic impacts to the United States.
The detrimental environmental impact of outdoor fires
In addition to destroying property and severely impacting or taking lives, outdoor fires are highly detrimental to our environment and climate. According to estimates from the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS), global wildfires and vegetation fires in 2022 generated around 1.455 megatonnes (1.455 million metric tons) of carbon emissions. Furthermore, University of California and University of Chicago researchers found that California wildfires in 2020, the most disastrous California wildfire year on record, emitted twice as much greenhouse gas as the total reduction of greenhouse gas in California between 2003 and 2019.
State-of-the-art sensors continuously monitor an area for any signs of fire, whether or not the flame is in line of sight.
Torch sensors are the most sophisticated and accurate outdoor fire detection sensor devices available today.
“One Torch sensor device has multiple infrared cameras, visible cameras, and gas sensors that continually monitor the environment and detect fires early, with high accuracy,” said Torch chief operating officer and co-founder Vasya Tremsin.
“Torch sensors detect outdoor fires the size of a car – usually even smaller – outside the line of sight when placed every 10 acres on a property.”
Torch sensors require no maintenance and use solar power to charge a self-sufficient, rechargeable battery that can last for days. They are built to last at least five years and withstand all weather conditions. Torch sensors also don’t require specialized equipment to install; they can be mounted at human height to a tree, pole or building.
Torch sensor devices continually measure multiple important variables, including:
Heat: A thermal camera looks for small-size high-heat sources and analyzes their changing dynamic. This allows Torch to trace a heat source to a potential fire.
Light: The device performs spectral analysis using precise filters that can distinguish other forms of light, such as sunlight, from a fire. This eliminates potential false positives.
Smoke: Multiple sensors measure different gasses and analyze smoke signatures. This allows for precise detection, both inside and outside the device’s line of sight.
Verifying results through multiple variables minimizes false positives and ensures accuracy.
The Torch app allows unlimited users to monitor unlimited sensors and properties.
The free-of-charge Torch app supports unlimited users, sensors and properties under one account and immediately sends fire alert notifications to unlimited designated users. The Torch app also includes community features whereby separate account owners can share data and alerts when a fire is detected on their property.
Torch provides disruptive technology and pricing.
The features of the Torch sensors and the free app, combined with a low $299 price per sensor, disrupt an industry that traditionally requires investments of at least $100,000. Traditional centralized solutions sit on a mountaintop and scan for visual cues of fire but often don’t detect fires until it’s too late. Traditional decentralized approaches fail to detect outdoor fires too frequently because they don’t incorporate the variety of thermal, visual, and gas sensors included in every Torch device.