There are thousands of severe household electrical fires each year, which claim hundreds of lives. In addition to this tragic loss of life, there are thousands of severe burn injuries. These fires also cause billions of dollars in damages. It is further estimated that nearly a million additional, less severe, annual household electrical fires go unreported in the United States alone.
Household electrical fires usually occur due to a high heat source caused by improper installation, damage or improper usage. The primary heat sources are as follows:
2D2C, Inc has developed technologies to disconnect loads under these conditions to remove the ignition source for fires. The first innovation was the Overload Fault Interrupter developed by its namesake, OFI, Inc of California, as well as Shock Fault Interrupter protection. These technologies were patented in 1999. This patent has been granted in the US and Canada and is pending in Europe.
In 2002, OFI, Inc. established a dedicated research and development (R&D) laboratory in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. This lab enhanced the basic overload fault interrupter and shock fault interrupter designs into a high-volume manufacturable product under the family brand name of “SafePlug™” (see www.safeplug.com). The first product, the SafePlug Model 1200 electrical outlet has been listed and approved against UL safety and FCC emissions standards for the United States and CSA safety and Industry Canada emissions standards for Canada as of 2005. The second product, the SafePlug Model 1300 electrical outlet is in the final stages of approval by all the mentioned agencies. The Model 1200 installs as a retrofit over an existing electrical outlet. The Model 1300 installs at the time of new construction, in lieu of a standard outlet.
As of October 2004, additional patents are now pending for several additional innovations including RightPlug™ communication between the plug and outlet, end of life detection, command card instruction of the outlets, and others.
In the process, the R&D laboratory also developed technology to prevent fires caused by high-resistance electrical connections and from over-voltage conditions. A Power Fault Interrupter will disconnect loads when detecting these faults. A series of tools and interrupters is also in development using these technologies. Patents for these technologies are pending as of May 2006.
In late 2005, OFI, Inc of California and 2D2C, Inc of Delaware merged. The laboratory in Canada is fully owned by 2D2C, Inc yet retains the original name of OFI, Inc.The company has a number of alliances with large companies in the fire safety and electrical distribution areas.