1.1     Background of the study


Reports on the issue of recorded deaths due to fire hazards and gas explosions have increased tremendously. According to the U. S. Fire Administration website, a reliable resource for credible information; “Each year more than 2,500 people die and 12,600 are injured in home fires in the United States, with direct property loss due to home fires estimated at $7.3 billion annually”[1]. If this number of deaths and casualties are recorded in a highly developed nation with several means of controlling fire incidents already in place such as the US, it is therefore acceptable to conclude that a developing nation such as Nigeria would suffer even more casualties and deaths due to the incessant fire outbreaks and gas explosions experienced yearly for instance, the Ariari market fire in Aba


One major method of combating the catastrophic effects of a fire outbreak which leads to loss of life and property is its early detection and the occupants’ evacuation of people at the scene of the incident. Many companies with the hope of bridging the gap in the number of deaths and loss of properties caused by fire have developed the smoke alarms, gas sensors and detectors, even the most recent GSM Based SMS Alert Fire Alarm Systems.  However these new technologies have their limitations in successfully detecting smoke or gas and triggering alarms (horns or, bells) instantaneously for a timely evacuation.


In addition, according to Evax Systems in [2], with the proliferation of electronic devices all around us, people have become very complacent to alarm sounds and signals. Therefore, combining a signal with a voice message, instructing occupants what to do, will be a better option to eliminating the lag or time delay of the other technologies and much more effective in getting people to a safe area.


Reliable fire & security in [3] notes that Voice evacuation systems allow for a controlled evacuation as people may be given clear and concise directions of where to evacuate.  Intelligent fire alarm systems combined with a voice evacuation system helps to improve survivability in the event of a fire.


Most often alarms with conventional alarm sounders are misinterpreted or even disregarded. Therefore, Siemens Switzerland Ltd in [4] goes on adding that Voice alarm Systems (E100 as a sample reference), offers optimum solution by providing information about a dangerous situation with unambiguous announcements and gives clear instructions that can be immediately understood.  Calm, reassuring voice messages help prevent panic [4].


Evax Systems in [2] recalled of an event which took place in Beverly Hills, Ohio where a small fire started in an unoccupied room. It did not rage rapidly out of control, and yet 164 people died in this tragedy. There was plenty of time to notify people and get them out, but because of the lack of an effective way to communicate; many people simply had no idea until it was too late.


It is critical therefore to notify persons in a building or infrastructural occupancy as early as possible to the danger of a fire in order to save lives. Rather than a customary audible horn or bell notification system, a voice evacuation system which is more effective in evacuating occupants and getting people out of a structure faster in a real fire emergency should be adopted. Evax System [2].


This project therefore engages the implementation of an automatic fire detection and alarm system which integrates a voice alert feature and a sprinkler system for the purpose of early detection of fire, safe and orderly evacuation from the danger zone and a reduced loss of valuables and assets via timely extinguishing of the fire.


1.2     Statement of the Problem

The misunderstandings, panic and most times disorderliness which results from the sirens, horns or bells of the regular fire alarm systems which go off during emergency situations cannot be underrated. This is because they are triggered, usually without any useful or intelligible information being passed across. On the other hand, damages to life and property caused by the untimely discovery of the fire or the delayed intervention of the fire fighting crew are also worthy of note. Thus, the need for the implementation of a system capable of conveying clear and useful information to serve as directives on what to do at a particular time; and also contributing a rapid response in dousing of a fire during fire emergency situations.


1.3     Aims and Objectives

The aims and objectives of this project are broken down into the following activities:

  • To design a schematic representation of the whole system
  • To design a power supply unit that supplies direct current (DC) sources of 5V and 12V independently.
  • To design the sensor element for early fire detection
  • To develop a program required to control the overall functioning of the microcontroller.
  • To set up and integrate a high quality, voice record and playback chip with high efficiency rated speakers into the system
  • To incorporate a sprinkler system into the overall system.


1.4     Scope of the Project

This project covers the hardware implementation applying a modular design approach where the different modules are designed and constructed differently and then subsequently coupled together. It also covers the software aspect which involves the programming of the microcontroller for effective control of the system.


1.5     Project Outline

The chapters in this project work are outlined briefly and their contents summarized thus;

Chapter One, which is an introduction to the project, gives the project background of study, statement of problem, aims and objectives, and the scope of the project.

Chapter Two, which is the literature review, gives an evaluation of previous related works of the project.

Chapter Three deals with the methodology where the methods or techniques used in the actualization of the project will be discussed.

In chapter Four, the system analysis and designs are exclusively dealt with.

Chapter Five focuses on the system implementation and evaluation.

Finally, chapter six is a summary and conclusion of the project with outlined recommendations.