Is it possible for a house to detect a fire and call 119 by itself? It is in Seoul’s Bukchon district. Created through the cooperation of Seoul Metropolitan Government and private startup Merlin, the “119 Text Message Reporting Service” was launched on December 28 with the installation of an IoT-based fire prevention and emergency services system in eight businesses in Bukchon Hanok Village. This is the first publically provided IoT service in Korea. The eight buildings that have been equipped with the new IoT service are: five guesthouses (Arirang House, Manhoedang, Hueahn, Bukchon Maru, and Doo Guesthouse), one restaurant (Rossini), one financial organization (MG Community Credit Cooperatives), and one miscellaneous facility (Hanok Homestay Information Center).
This service involves the installation of beacons (close-range wireless communication devices) equipped with sensors that are capable of detecting and recording five types of environmental data (temperature, humidity, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and dust) in each building. Featuring real-time detection of indoor environmental conditions and big data analysis, the system automatically sends a text message to 119 (Korea’s emergency response services) if the indoor temperature reaches or exceeds 70 degrees Celsius (the temperature at which fire detectors are activated).
Including the functionality of existing technology, which consists of a smart sensor that detects temperature and humidity changes and the presence of smoke and activates an alarm in the event of a fire, this more sophisticated IoT service is also capable of contacting 119 on its own.
The emergency text message includes the building’s address, contact information of the building’s legal owner, and the indoor temperature detected, which is expected to make it possible for help to arrive more quickly. The owners of the eight buildings equipped with the IoT service will receive text messages twice a day (at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.) that include real-time information on the in-door environmental conditions of their buildings. If any of the detected environmental variables (temperature, dust, etc.) exceed the standard level, building owners will immediately receive a warning via text message. Environmental information can also be monitored in real-time using a mobile phone application.
Seoul Metropolitan Fire & Disaster Headquarters (director: Kwon Sunkyung) announced that through the introduction of this system, the first IoT-based automatic fire reporting service in Korea, it hopes to prevent any delays in reports of fires, such as when no one is in the buildings or the fires go unnoticed by the people who are there, thereby minimizing any losses of human life and property damage.
This service is part of the “Bukchon IoT Test Program” that Seoul Metropolitan Government is conducting in cooperation with several private companies. This program also includes services that apply IoT technology to address civil complaints filed by Bukchon residents due to increased instances of noise pollution, illegal parking, illegal garbage disposal, and infringement of privacy caused by the increase in the number of visitors to the area. As all preparations for these new services have now been completed, the program is expected to be launched in early 2016. If it is deemed widely applicable, based on the results of an analysis of its utilization by residents and tourists, the program will be turned in to a brand and introduced in other districts of Seoul.