Predicting property damage before it occurs

By the time you hear the alarm from a smoke detector or security system, the damage may already be done. What, then, if you could predict an emergency before it happens, arming property owners with the power to act rather than react? Dollars, property, and potentially lives could all be saved.

That’s the science behind OneEvent Technologies and its OnePrevent system, which recently cleared two final compliance hurdles on the way to becoming available for installation throughout Wisconsin.

The Mount Horeb company is the first to provide a smart software system that empowers the protection of lives and property through prediction and prevention. By giving users immediate access to information about their buildings, they will have greater control and better oversight of their most vital assets: the people they care about and are responsible for, and their property.

OneEvent Technologies is the brainchild of cofounders Kurt Wedig, CEO and an entrepreneur with 20-plus years of experience in sales, marketing, procurement, and sourcing, and Dan Parent, COO and vice president of engineering with 23-plus years of experience managing projects and developing high-tech products in the health care and telecommunications industries.

The company got its start several years ago when Wedig was watching a Today show story about how best to escape a hotel fire. The story, he recalls, suggested travelers always be mindful of the number of doorways between their room and the floor’s exit doors so that in the event of a fire, they could crawl along the floor, feeling for and counting doorways as they made their escape.

“I thought, ‘this is crazy in today’s world!’” Wedig says. “There had to be a better way.”

He mentioned the story to Parent and in 2011 the men cofounded OneEvent Technologies to figure out that better way.

Six years later and the OnePrevent system is finally ready for prime time.

Satisfying regulators

The wireless OnePrevent system gives homeowners and building owners and managers the power to protect their assets before damage or danger strikes.

OneEvent’s various sensor types connect to the cloud, where the system learns the home or business’s normal patterns to predict when something is truly out of the ordinary. When that occurs, customers get an immediate notification on their smartphone. In addition to potentially preventing problems, the ability for property owners and managers to have access to constant property monitoring lies in the palm of their hand.

“We’ve been working for years trying to get this equipment into areas that need additional protection, and to finally have a demonstrative product for these areas is remarkable,” says Parent. “Our system is UL 217 classified — it’s a residential classification, but we’ve gotten approval to place OnePrevent in multiunit housing and light commercial buildings.”

Underwriters Laboratory (UL) is a global independent safety science company that certifies, validates, verifies, and inspects products for safety and function in regard to compliance and regulation. UL listing means that UL has tested representative samples of the product and determined that it meets the industry’s requirements, based on its nationally recognized standards for safety.

Additionally, the City of Madison Fire Department recently approved the use of OnePrevent’s smoke/heat multisensory alarm as it relates to Madison General Ordinance 34.907 — one of the strictest ordinances in Wisconsin.

The Madison Fire Department’s ordinance has a 10-year sealed battery requirement, notes Parent. “But even though our lithium batteries are removable our system offers constant monitoring, so the department allowed it to be listed as an equivalent for that ordinance. Our batteries actually last 13 years, but we can’t be classified as a 10-year battery — under UL we’re classified as a 9.99 year battery because they’re replaceable.”

For OneEvent, the Madison ordinance allowance also specifies the smoke alarm be installed in a tamper-proof mode.

“The nice thing about our system is that it can provide fire protection for businesses without them having to bring everything up to code,” Parent explains. “If they were to install just smoke alarms, for instance, Madison Fire Department would require everything in that building to be brought up to current building code.”

Power of prevention

What makes OnePrevent an intriguing solution for businesses and property managers is that while alarms don’t prevent or predict emergencies, OnePrevent does both.

According to OneEvent’s website, OnePrevent constantly measures smoke, temperature, motion, and other factors in a business and home. The system learns and adapts to a building’s daily routine to determine what is normal, and OnePrevent leverages the power of cloud computing to immediately alert users on their smartphone when measured factors change beyond what is normal.

“Starting the year with our product going to market is perfect timing for our system to be hitting the local marketplace,” says Wedig. “It’s already preventing freezing pipes in our customers’ buildings and helping them identify opportunities for better energy management. There are just so many ways for our system to help building owners and managers better understand and manage their properties so conveniently.”

According to Wedig, users of the OnePrevent system receive text notifications at the first sign of something out of the ordinary.

“For instance, if you’re cooking and there’s smoke, you’ll get a notification well before the smoke alarm goes off,” Wedig explains. “You’ll find out right away if the issue is smoke, temperature change, motion at an unusual time or in an unexpected area, etc. However, the system is not so sensitive that it’s going to send alerts every time there’s a temperature change. There’s a learning period of about a month where the system is figuring out a building or home’s patterns so it’s not oversensitive and becoming a nuisance with too many alerts.”

The system runs on AC-powered battery backup with cellular connections, so it’s very reliable,” notes Parent. OnePrevent stores all of its data if either a cellular or server connection is lost, and will send that information when the connection is restored.

OneEvent is not yet alerting fire departments or first responders when the system is triggered but Wedig notes it’s a feature the company will likely add in the future. “We’ve already developed a patented solution for the system to communicate with first responders and fire departments,” he shares.

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Crystal ball customization

According to Wedig, the company is hoping for a 60–40 mix of commercial and residential customers. Currently, the system is the same for these two markets but later this year OneEvent will introduce OnePrevent Pro for the commercial market.

“Our system is a standard platform but is customized to each individual building in the sense that it labels your rooms and zones,” explains Wedig. “There’s definitely potential in the future for DIY use, but it’s not a focus at this point.”

The OnePrevent system is currently available on a regional basis for its initial product rollout, but Wedig says OneEvent welcomes inquiries from any part of the country. “We’re building relationships with certain industries that may become advocates for our system — particularly the property and casualty insurance and security sectors. We’re relying on trained dealer-installers to sell and install OnePrevent for the time being.”

So far OneEvent has selected and trained four local dealer-installers — J&K Security Solutions of Madison, Fearing’s Audio Video Security of Madison, The Electrician Inc. of Mount Horeb, and Mahlkuch Electric LLC of Monroe — that are selling and installing the OnePrevent system throughout southern Wisconsin, with more dealer-installers to be added as the market area expands.

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