Trending Topics

Johnson Controls partners with Lumkani to bring fire safety to urban informal settlements

WASHINGTON, DC — Families living in informal settlements in South Africa will now be better protected against devastating fires thanks to a newly announced partnership between Johnson Controls and Lumkani. The collaboration will provide networked, early warning fire detection technology for these communities.

For the 800 million people living in informal settlements around the world, this award-winning[1] smart device provides peace of mind and protection. These at-risk communities are often in danger of experiencing devastating fires due to dense housing conditions and prevalent use of open fire methods for cooking, lighting and heating.

“This collaboration, guided by local expertise and implementation partners, reflects Johnson Controls’ commitment to safe communities,” said Grady Crosby, vice president Public Affairs and Johnson Controls Foundation president. “Our partnership with Lumkani is an opportunity to leverage an innovative solution to solve a complex problem facing the community.”

Fires in these settlements kill thousands of people every year and displace countless more. For survivors, the loss of a home, family necessities and other possessions make it even more difficult to secure economic wellbeing and protect their families from further harm. For the eight million South Africans living in informal settlements and in similar communities around the world, fires are a very real daily threat.

“Lumkani uses heat detection to measure the incidence of fire in an informal home,” said David Gluckman, CEO of Lumkani. “All homeowners within range of the fire receive a text message alerting them to the potential danger and encouraging them to respond to the text to validate its presence.”

This year, with the support of Johnson Controls, which includes the Johnson Controls Foundation, 5,200 Lumkani fire detectors have been installed in Imizamo Yetho, an informal settlement in Cape Town, South Africa. These devices cover 95% percent of the homes in the area, providing safety for 14,000 residents and the broader community for years to come. Every dollar invested in Lumkani technology produces ten dollars in social value[2], generating a huge impact for vulnerable communities.

By combining Lumkani technology with insights from Johnson Controls, a higher performing solution is being delivered to informal settlements, helping to increase personal safety and mitigate loss of life, property and possessions.

As the urban population continues to increase globally, Johnson Controls is committed to developing safer, smarter buildings and cities to meet today’s needs and shape better tomorrows. For more information, please visit:

About Lumkani
Lumkani is an Insurtech Startup that seeks to build resilience in under-served communities exposed to high levels of risk, using technology and financial services. Lumkani mitigates the loss of life and property caused by fires in informal settlements using specifically designed Internet of Things (IoT) heat sensors and insurance. The combination of technology and financial cover has enabled Lumkani to decrease the impact of fires in low-income neighborhoods.

About Johnson Controls
Johnson Controls is a global diversified technology and multi-industrial leader serving a wide range of customers in more than 150 countries. Our 120,000 employees create intelligent buildings, efficient energy solutions, integrated infrastructure and next generation transportation systems that work seamlessly together to deliver on the promise of smart cities and communities. Our commitment to sustainability dates back to our roots in 1885, with the invention of the first electric room thermostat. We are committed to helping our customers win and creating greater value for all of our stakeholders through strategic focus on our buildings and energy growth platforms. For additional information, please visit or follow us @johnsoncontrols on Twitter.

About Johnson Controls Building Technologies & Solutions
Johnson Controls Building Technologies & Solutions is making the world safer, smarter and more sustainable – one building at a time. Our technology portfolio integrates every aspect of a building – whether security systems, energy management, fire protection or HVACR – to ensure that we exceed customer expectations at all times. We operate in more than 150 countries through our unmatched network of branches and distribution channels, helping building owners, operators, engineers and contractors enhance the full lifecycle of any facility. Our arsenal of brands includes some of the most trusted names in the industry, such as Tyco®, YORK®, Metasys®, Ruskin®, Titus®, Frick®, PENN®, Sabroe®, Simplex® and Grinnell®. For more information, visit or follow @JCI_Buildings on Twitter.