Lumkani is a South African startup which made waves in 2015 when it won nearly a million rand for its early warning system designed to protect against fires, especially in informal settlements which are common not only in this country but also abroad.

In the years since, the company has been making strides to get its tech into more homes across the country with an effort working with GSMA and its Humanitarian Innovation Fund.

“With its latest project, South African startup, Lumkani, has installed its early warning fire detection system in 20,000 homes across South Africa,” a release sent to us reads, “To date, Lumkani has equipped 40,000 high fire risk homes in several of the country’s informal settlements with this system.”

The small blue device, which you can see in the header image above, is made to work with other devices in a network. This means that a fire in one home will alert the other devices in neighbouring homes, which is crucial in the kinds of environments where many houses are so close together.

This system also means that a community can work to snuff out a fire before it can spread, or help keep it at bay until emergency services and firefighters can arrive.

Aside from the devices themselves Lumkani is also working with insurer Hollard to offer insurance for fire damage. As explained in this video the cover costs R70 per month and pays up to R40 000 in the case of a fire.

If this is something you’d like to get for your home or community, or you’re a business looking to put more of the devices into people’s homes, check out the official Lumkani website.