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This ceiling fan can save lives too

Sangeetha Chengappa Bengaluru | Updated on January 15, 2018 Published on November 28, 2016

Vijay Dhuler, CEO & CTO, SafeHalo, and Vinay Gundi, COO

Start-up SafeHalo has designed suicide prevention device for ₹600

The product description for Safe Fan reads stark and simple: ‘Prevents ceiling fan suicides.’ Yet, at just ₹600, the device could be the crucial difference between certain death and a second chance at life.

Within days of being introduced in the market — it’s listed on Amazon.in — Safe Fan has generated tremendous interest. Its creators — techies Vijay Dhuler and Vinay Gundi, co-founders of Bengaluru-based start-up SafeHalo Private Ltd — now have orders for over 50,000 devices.

Safe Fan is a 2.5-inch x 2.5-inch device made of metal and plastic, comprising an alarm of over 120 decibels sourced from China and a mechanical clamp designed and made by SafeHalo.

How it works

Explaining how it works, Vijay Dhuler, CEO of SafeHalo, said: “The existing clamp inside the fan cup that holds up the fan is replaced with our clamp to which one end of a spring is fixed, with the other end is fixed to the hook in the ceiling.

“When a person tries to hang himself, his body weight breaks the clamp in milliseconds to prevent spine damage or the tightening of the noose, and ensures electricity is completely cut off. It simultaneously sets off a loud alarm alerting others. The spring prevents the fan from hitting the head of the person and causing any damage.”

India accounts for about 30 per cent of the world’s suicide deaths with 1,31,666 suicides recorded in 2014, according to the National Crime Records Bureau. Hanging is the most popular method and accounts for 41 per cent of the deaths.

Dhuler listed Safe Fan on Amazon.in last month and has filed for a patent. According to him, half a billion fans are in service and 30 million fans are sold every year in India, presenting a huge opportunity.

Orders breeze in

“Kota runs a ₹3,000-crore tutoring business and is home to 1.5 lakh students who stay in hostels. SafeHalo has already received orders for 1,000 devices. Two-three star hotel owners in Delhi-NCR and Karnataka are also interested in Safe Fan to save lives, protect their reputation and avoid costs that might run up to ₹2 lakh to deal with the consequences,” he said.

Published on November 28, 2016
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