Updated on June 26, 2024


Created on July 26, 2016

Lumkani - Early Warning Fire Detection System

Lumkani is a small fire alarm that registers the rate at which heat rises within a small residence indicating when there might be a fire risk. It then connects with neighboring devices, setting off a chain of alarms so t

Tested By
  • Aga Khan University Hospital
  • Colonial War Memorial Hospital
  • Jinnah Post-graduate Medical College
  • Maternidade Escola de Vila Nova Cachoeirinha (São Paulo, Brazil)
  • Mulago Hospital (Kampala, Uganda)
  • The University of British Columbia
  • Tygerberg Hospital (Cape Town, South Africa)
Content Partners


Market Suggested Retail Price


Target Users (Target Impact Group)

Household, Community

Distributors / Implementing Organizations

Lumkani is both the manufacturer and distributor. The company is currently seeking investment capital to expand distribution.

Manufacturing/Building Method

Units are manufactured in South Africa.

Intellectural Property Type

Select Type

User Provision Model

Lumkani is both the manufacturer and distributor. For more information or to place an order, you can contact the company directly.

Distributions to Date Status

Lumkani has distributed roughly 7,000 units, and they are looking to expand into new markets in Africa (Kenya, Namibia, etc)

Communication protocol used


Telecommunication service required (Y/N)

No. Although the next iteration of the product will be SMS enabled so SMS service would be required.

Remote system diagnostics (Y/N)


Sensors used (Y/N)

Yes. Heat Sensors.

Mobile money access (Y/N)


Payment structure (Mobile money, Cable, bluetooth or keypad)


Power requirements

Battery Power.

Design Specifications

The unit should be placed in the kitchen or other fire-vulnerable living spaces. It should be affixed high on the wall, though within reach for occasional changing of the battery. The alarm unit is activated through a heat sensor (as opposed to a smoke detector), making it more appropriate for homes where fire is commonly used. The alarm then activates neighboring devices, providing a real time community warning system.

Product Schematics

Technical Support

Beyond regular changing of the battery (the need for which is indicated with a light on the unit), minimal maintenance is required. Where technical support is necessary, the manufacturer provides assistance.

Replacement Components

None. Residents must replace battery as needed.


Unknown. There are no guidelines for disposal of the unit.

Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters


Vetted Performance Status



Follow the installation instructions.

Complementary Technical Systems

None. Lumkani is also working on a model for financial models like fire insurance in informal settlements.

Academic Research and References

“Homepage.” n.d. Lumkani.Com. Accessed June 26, 2024. https://lumkani.com/

“Goal 10.” n.d. Sdgs.Un.Org. Accessed June 26, 2024. https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal10

“Goal 11.” n.d. Sdgs.Un.Org. Accessed June 26, 2024. https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal11

The Tech Interactive. 2015. “The Tech Awards 2015 Laureate: Lumkani.” Youtube. November 12, 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1eIFpHAxhWc

Compliance with regulations

Testing has been completed with the South African Bureau of Standards.

Evaluation methods

Initial tests were done throughout the design process by the manufacturer.

Other Information

Lumkani is also working on a model for fire insurance in informal settlements. For more information on the product installation and specification go here

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