A company that has developed a device to monitor the presence of electricity in water has joined the Purdue Research Park of Southeast Indiana. ShockAlarm LLC founder Brian Byrd says he designed the technology in response to an increase in electric shock drownings.

April 29, 2015

News Release

New Albany, Ind. — A company whose device continuously monitors the water in pools and around boats for the presence of electricity has become an affiliate of the Purdue Research Park of Southeast Indiana.

ShockAlarm LLC is the designer and developer of the patent-pending ShockAlarm device, a passive alarm that continuously monitors for the presence of electric current in pools, spas, hot tubs or freshwater marinas and dock areas. Founder Brian Byrd said the device was designed in response to the increase of electric shock drowning deaths.

“People want to have their technology with them all day long, including around pools and on boats, which requires electricity,” he said.

According to Byrd, as few as 100 milliamperes, which is about one-third of the electricity needed to light a 40-watt light bulb, can kill a person.

“Traditional electric safety devices are designed to detect the difference between the amount of electricity that flows into a circuit and what flows out. Any detected difference will cause these traditional devices to shut off the circuit,” he said. “But they can be easily damaged due to electrical surges or moisture.”

Byrd said the ShockAlarm device can be used in several locations.

“ShockAlarm isn't connected to electrical systems, unlike traditional safety devices, and there is no specialized installation. A secure tether affixes it to the side wall of a pool, hot tub or spa. It can be tied off dockside at a marina or boat slip, or taken on board a boat,” he said. “The design includes the detection and alerting systems. The virtually indestructible housing is a combination of ballast and foam, which ensures that the device remains in the optimal position for monitoring.”

Byrd said there are millions of consumer-owned recreational boats, pools, spas and hot tubs in the United States.

“Although nearly all states regulate the installation and inspection of public, municipal pools, few regulate private pools, spas and hot tubs beyond the general household electrical code requirements,” he said. “The United States Coast Guard has several regulations regarding marina safety, but the regulation of marina electrical connections is typically left up to each state's electrical code.”

Byrd and his colleagues are looking to bring the ShockAlarm device to the market as soon as they can.

“We will launch a KickStarter financing campaign on May 13. Proceeds will streamline and improve manufacturing processes,” he said. “We also are looking to partner with local and state legislators around the country to strengthen pool safety guidelines. Our primary motivation is to save lives.”

Byrd and his colleagues are pleased to be affiliates at the Purdue Research Park of Southeast Indiana.

“We are committed to developing and manufacturing ShockAlarm at the technology center, which could benefit the local area as well as the southern Indiana region,” he said. “The resources and networking at the center will complement our desire to develop the best water safety device that could save lives.”

About ShockAlarm LLC

ShockAlarm is a portable and durable floating device that monitors fresh water for the presence of an electrical current that can cause drowning. ShockAlarm's affordability for any pool or lake is a safe and reliable alert system designed to make those preparing to enter into unsafe water and protect those we love in the water to take action immediately.

About Purdue Research Park

The Purdue Research Park is the largest university-affiliated business incubation complex in the country. The Purdue Research Park manages the Purdue Technology Centers in four sites in Indiana: West Lafayette, Indianapolis, Merrillville and New Albany. The more than 260 companies located in the park network employ about 4,500 people who earn an average annual wage of $63,000. The park is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2014 Incubator Network of the Year from the National Business Incubation Association for its work in entrepreneurship. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at foundry@prf.org.

Source: Purdue Research Park

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