News about Cigarette Smoke Detector

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Lights on is lights-out for smokers
High-tech tactics used to fight smoking

(Herald Bristo Courier – September 24, 2004)

Virginia High has taken high-tech aim at smoking on campus, and observers say a sensor system has helped clear the hallways of smoke

The cigarette smoke wafting through the halls of Virginia High School last year made some teachers feel like second-hand smokers. This year, they’ve kicked the habit – with the help of some new technology.

The school system spent about $5,000 on a high tech system that alerts administrators when someone smokes on school grounds. It was installed over the summer.

“We were vigilant in checking the restrooms, but we felt like we had to do more,” said Principal Ina Danko. “We decided to get tough.”

Virginia High teachers, like those at many other area high schools, have struggled with how to catch smokers. By the time the smoke circulates into the classrooms and hallways, the culprits have finished and moved on.

The new alert system involves sensors placed in bathrooms and in other areas throughout the school. Now when someone smokes, flashing lights in hallways and outside bathrooms reveal the smoker’s location.

Now when someone smokes, flashing lights in hallways and outside bathrooms reveal the smoker’s location.

The sensors also send messages to multiple pagers carried by hall monitors and administrators. Without delay, school officials know where to find the source of the smoke.

We had to keep our doors shut last year because there was so much smoke in the hall”, said English teacher Ashley Maloyed. “This year, I haven’t smelled it at all. I was a little skeptical at first, but it works.”

Junior Lacey Smith hates the smell of cigarette smoke and said it often gives her a headache. The pungent odor bothered her last year, she said, but not anymore. She hasn’t smelled smoke in the hallways yet.

Senior Sara McVey agreed. “It disrupted the classes because teachers had to leave to check bathrooms,” she said. “I can’t smell it in the school like I could last year. I’ve noticed that it has been down tremendously.”

“This has been the only thing that I have seen that has been successful in stopping smoking on campus,” said Dick Austin, a Virginia High history teacher. “I can’t praise it enough.”

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Smoke detectors finding a voice
The News-Herald, Cuyahoga Edition – February 3, 2004

A decade ago, Michael Kaufman was traveling in an elevator with a senior executive of a commercial bank where he worked as a computer programmer.

The executive lit a cigarette without any consideration for others in the elevator, Kaufman recalled.

“The risk of telling the executive not to smoke was greater that that of inhaling the second-hand smoke.

“I felt that someone should do the dirty job of telling him (not to smoke),” Kaufman said. So, the Beachwood resident came up with the idea of voice messages warning people not to smoke in undesignated areas.

The smoke detecting device Kaufman developed became a success, prompting him to quit his bank job 10 years ago, and start Voice Products Inc. to market his innovation.

Since then, he has developed several variations of smoke-detection alarms.

“Schools and colleges are the biggest customers,” Kaufaman said.

“Doug Wetherbolt, dean of students at a vocational school in Ashtabula County, is pleased with Voice Products’ system. Since it was installed, smoking in the school has dropped dramatically. “We use it as a deterrent.”

Before installing the Stealth Smoking Enforcement system, the school notified its students about the new anti-smoking surveillance. Until then, the security staff patrolled every nook and cranny to discourage smoking on school premise. The smoke alarm eliminated foot patrol, which cut cost.

The system is also used in prisons, Kaufman said.

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Disney Could Jump on This Idea By Offering A Jiminy Cricket Line
(The Wall Street Journal, August 12, 1999)

Imagine a smoker lighting up in a hospital hallway or public bathroom, and suddenly hearing a disembodied voice from above: “Please extinguish your smoking material. This is a non-smoking area. Thank you.”

If a Cleveland entrepreneur has his way, scenes like this will become reality starting next month with “SmokeBuster,” a talking smoke detector. Michael Kaufman, a 35-year old former computer programmer, says the device is ideal for restaurants, schools and other places to enforce nonsmoking rules tactfully. “It’s better that a sign,” he says. “But it’s not the smoking police.”

Still, the message is up to the establishment installing it. “It can be as polite or obnoxious as you want,” he says.

“SmokeBuster is far more sensitive than regular smoke alarms and can sniff out just a puff or two.”

“It does not take much smoke to set it off,” says Larry Chervenak, president of Chervenak, Keane & Co, the consulting firm.

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Detector smokes out cheaters
(Rocky Mountain News – April 14, 1994)

A supersensitive electronic alarm can catch people sneaking a puff in non-smoking areas of buildings and admonish them with a recorded message.

Michael Kaufman, developer of SmokeBuster, said the alarm is 100 times more sensitive than ordinary smoke detectors.

The battery-powered unit costs as little as $149. Kaufman got the idea for the product 10 years ago when he failed to complain to his then-boss, who was smoking on an elevator, but wished there was a machine there that would do it for him.

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