Fire Detection



Traditional smoke detectors are beginning to incorporate gas sensors to decrease false alarms and provide information about the origin and type of fire. C2Sense gas sensors can be easily added into fire detection devices using existing manufacturing lines, and do not require frequent calibration when deployed.


In 1915, the chances of surviving a home fire were 1 in 10. A hundred years later, these odd have only decreased to 1 in 100. Modern smoke detectors primarily detect heat and/or aerosol particles found in smoke, which are both effective targets and key indicators of fire. In addition to smoke and heat, fire also produces gases based on what is burning; plastic produces different gases than burned toast, for example. In fact, most of the deaths from accidental fires today are attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning, not to soft tissue injury or smoke inhalation. While conventional smoke detectors save lives, one of their fatal flaws is that they are only effective once smoke or heat develops, which in some cases can already be too late. In the case of fire, every second counts to prevent the loss of life.


Modern smoke alarms have greatly reduced the fatality of fires. However, they are prone to false alarms, slow to alert (in the timescale of fire), and do not provide information about the origin or type of fire. Since gases are produced very early in a developing fire (before aerosols), adding gas sensors to fire detection systems is a straightforward solution and a viable alternative to traditional detection devices. The industry has recognized the opportunity by developing combined CO and smoke detectors but has yet to incorporate any other gas sensors into their devices. In many cases, existing sensors are not suitable for fire detection uses, particularly for NO2 (one of the most compelling indicators of fire) as they are prohibitively expensive, too large, or require frequent maintenance. In order for a sensing solution to meet the requirements of fire detection, it must deliver high specificity, long lifetime, lack of calibration, and small footprint, all in an affordable, scalable, and easily manufacturable package.


C2Sense offers the fire detection industry gas sensors that detect low concentrations of relevant gases in tiny, robust, and selective form factors that are easily integrated into existing manufacturing lines. Our technology uses the fundamental sensing approach of chemiresistance, but leverages a unique combination of basic chemistry, stabilizing matrix components, and embedded carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to impart selectivity. Simply put, when a mixed gas stream that contains a target compound meets a CNT chemiresistive sensor, a chemical reaction occurs between the selected gas molecules and the molecular selectors within the sensor. This reaction causes a distinct change in the sensor’s electric current, which can be measured and translated into information about the presence and concentration of the target compound. Our molecular-level approach means that our sensors are able to be miniaturized into ultra-small footprints that require very few supporting electronics, and these superior sensors largely eliminate cross-sensitivities, false positives, the degrading effects of humidity and temperature, and other challenges which have historically plagued small form-factor sensors.


The highly specific and robust nature of C2Sense products allows for exquisite sensitivity and selectivity without frequent maintenance. Our pilots in nuclear waste sites and livestock facilities have put our sensors to the test in extreme environments, and we have successfully used our sensors to detect 80+ proof-of-concept gases. Our team of chemists and engineers are in the late stages of development for several industry-relevant hardened gas sensors, including NO2 and CO2. Our sensing approach makes it possible for our sensors to provide large volumes  of useful information despite their small size and relatively simple construction.

Ultra Small

Mobile applications, pervasive integration into many electronic devices, and straightforward multiplexing

Highly Selective

Sensing without cross-sensitivities and resistance to chemical and environmental interferents

Designed with Application-specific Requirements In Mind

Dynamic technical tuneability, a SWAP-C with parity or advantage over existing technology, specialized sensor performance, calibration infrequent or not needed.

480 Arsenal Way, Suite #110
Watertown, MA 02472

(617) 651-3991

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