The Lumkani fire detecting system will soon be distributed in the slums of Bangladesh.

Created to help solve the scourge of shack fires that ravage informal settlements in South Africa, Lumkani was founded by social entrepreneur, David Gluckman and first rolled out in the Western Cape in 2014.

The company has thus far installed more than 8 500 devices in big and fire-prone informal settlements such as Masiphumelele in Cape Town and Imizamo Yethu in Hout Bay.

Lumkani also came in fourth in the international The Venture startups competition last year, walking away with R900 000 for the business.

The aim has always been to roll the solution out to all informal settlements in the world and at the time of winning the prize money from The Venture, Gluckman had said Lumkani would use the money to scale their business locally and abroad.

Bangladesh is one of the countries with a large number of people living in fire-prone slums.

Apart from enabling it to scale, the prize money has also given Lumkani room for improvement in other areas.

“The Venture has absolutely helped us and continues to; we have been able to scale up on research and development and we’ve launched a new version of the product, which is easy to manufacture, better design and we’ve been able to put in lots of new software,” Gluckman said. “It’s also allowed us to scale up our marketing and sales, get the right resources and extend our product range offering.”

In future, Lumkani plans to develop a device that will look to include the capability to alert communities of other risks such as storms, tsunamis and floods.