SA’s Lumkani installs 5,200 fire detectors in Imizamo Yethu township


South African fire safety startup Lumkani has partnered global tech firm Johnson Controls to install 5,200 fire detectors in Imizamo Yethu, an informal settlement in Cape Town.

Founded in 2015, Lumkani leverages proprietary hardware and a tech-enabled agent network to provide consumers living in informal settlements with insurance that protects against loss of life, shelter, and assets in the case of a home fire.

The startup, which closed a seed funding round featuring 4Di Capital, Accion Venture Lab and Lireas in June, bundles this insurance product with an Internet of Things (IoT)-connected heat sensor that detects fire in and around homes.

It has now partnered Johnson Controls to install 5,200 Lumkani fire detectors in Imizamo Yetho, covering 95 per cent of the homes in the area and providing safety for 14,000 residents and the broader community.

By combining Lumkani technology with insights from Johnson Controls, a higher performing solution is being delivered to informal settlements, helping to increase personal safety and mitigate loss of life, property and possessions.

“Lumkani uses heat detection to measure the incidence of fire in an informal home,” said David Gluckman, chief executive officer(CEO) of Lumkani. “All homeowners within range of the fire receive a text message alerting them to the potential danger and encouraging them to respond to the text to validate its presence.”


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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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