The Haven: Canadian invention is a game-changer in home fire suppression
Automatic, self-powering extinguishing device dramatically increases chances of evacuation
By John Bleasby
Every now and then, a product comes along so readily acceptable to homeowners that the question is not, “Do I buy this?” but instead “Where has this product been all my life?” Matthew Perry’s new home fire protection device the Haven provides one of those wonderful “Ah-ha!” moments.
The Haven was born from personal experience fighting fires
Perry’s five years as a firefighter and fire protection officer in Arnprior Ontario took him to over 500 calls including several ‘large working fires’. That, plus his real-life experience as a youth of risking his life to save family members from house fires that twice destroyed his own home, led him to the realisation that there had to be a better way to protect lives. Smoke detectors might alert occupants if they can hear them but don’t help them get out of a burning home. Fire extinguishers are no help at all if they can’t be located or if occupants don’t know how they operate. Five years of product development alongside technical engineers, and close to $500,000 in development costs later (including a cash investment by a Manjit Minhas of CBC’s The Dragons’ Den), Perry and his marketing partner Shawn Pringle have launched the Haven, a completely new approach to fire protection that is destined to be a Canadian success story.
A better solution for home protection
The Haven combines the best characteristics of detectors and extinguishers without the short-comings of either. It detects heat, not smoke, so there are fewer false alarms when, for example, the toast burns; an automatic device, dependent on neither a battery nor a human for operation. Given proof that today’s fires inside homes burn faster than 20 years ago (see video) , every second counts.
The unit shoots out five pounds of non-toxic powder at high-pressure to supress the source of the flames, much like a hand-operated extinguisher, yet maintaining visibility that allows occupants to focus on evacuating quickly. Each unit can protect an area up to 16’ by 16’, assuming a ceiling height between eight and 12 feet.
The Haven is the sensible alternative to water-based sprinkler systems. While excellent in institutional and commercial applications, and mandated by legislation or insurance companies in many cases, sprinklers can be cost-prohibitive in a residential application,($40K and up), need be maintained, and be visually discrete. Furthermore, water damage can sometimes cause more damage to contents than the fire itself.
Possible insurance premium discounts
Insurance companies are warming to the Haven. Perry suggests owners contact their insurance provider and have them either investigate the Haven or talk to the company directly. Some premium discounts could follow. Although there are presently no ULC approvals for the Haven device itself due to its ‘New and Innovative’ status with ULC, many key individual components are ULC-approved. A patent for the device is now pending.
An extra tool in the contractor’s the toolbox’
The kitchen is an obvious installation location, as are the entrance ways to bedrooms and near exit points in the house. Installation is quick and easy for a handyman or carpenter, requiring no added fasteners or specialised tools, yet nevertheless daunting for homeowners unwilling to climb a ladder and cut a hole in their ceiling. As for renovations or new-builds, the Haven seems obvious. Since smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are installed as a matter of course anyway, adding Haven units to key areas in the home is a straight forward decision for clients.
“It’s an easy sell,” says product spokesman Damon Bennett. Himself a life-long contractor, Bennett sees the business benefits of presenting the Haven to clients. “When you bring up safety, it shows that
you as a contractor care about their family. We all try to gain an edge in this competitive marketplace, and this is how my company gains an edge. Putting myself in their shoes, if I had a spouse, kids, pets, maybe a live-in relative, I would want to do everything I could to make the home safe. The Haven adds an extra tool to the contractor’s toolbox.”
Buying options include direct purchase
Perry’s company Mehoe Enterprise Inc. is offering quantity discounts for direct purchasers of three or five units, and 100-unit pallet pricing for those building larger housing developments. The units can also be purchased individually in-store at Lowes’ across Canada, in Kent Hardware outlets throughout Eastern Canada, or on-line through Amazon.
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