Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Firefly launches new safety device with £200k BreakOut

Firefly has invented a new product that will safely shatter double glazed windows in the event of a fire. From Firefly are Paul O’Hare, general manager, and Stephen Maher, director and inventor of the product

A new invention by Northern Ireland company Firefly is set to revolutionise the home safety market with a new device called BreakOut.

The device, launched this week by the Antrim-based firm, contains a powerful spring to safely break any type of window in the event of a fire.

The discreet slimline product took three years to develop at a cost of £200,000.

It is one of a wide range of inventions developed by Stephen Maher and works by sticking to a window and breaking it at the push of a button.

Building regulations require homes to have an escape window in every habitable room upstairs, which presents a problem for the owners of around 20 million older properties in the UK.

Mr Maher said: "I was inspired to invent 'BreakOut' when I realised that in the event of a fire it would be virtually impossible to smash the double-glazed windows in my own house.

"Fitting a new fire window can be inconvenient and cost upwards of £1,000.

"BreakOut is a fraction of the cost at just £24.99 and anyone can fit it."

During 2008/09 there were over 900 accidental domestic fires leading to 11 deaths and 300 injuries, but Mr Maher is keen to highlight the product is not intended to substitute a planned escape route or Fire Service assistance. Firefly is negotiating with high street chains to distribute the product, and in a demonstration of entrepreneurial flair, it is now working on a follow up product for the transport industry.

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