HomePod Alerts Family After Nosy Pooch Starts Kitchen Fire | How to Enable Safety Alerts

HomePod Fire Alert
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We hear plenty about the Apple Watch and iPhone saving lives when a user has medical problems or is in an accident. However, this latest one is a first, at least for this reporter, as Apple’s HomePod saved a family from a potentially fatal house fire caused by a curious pooch in the wee hours of the morning.

At 4:43 a.m. on June 26, the Colorado Springs Fire Department was notified about a house fire. However, once they arrived, the firefighters found that while there had been a fire in the kitchen, the homeowners had already extinguished it.

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In a video posted to Facebook, the Colorado Springs Fire Department shows footage from a security camera in the kitchen, showing that the owner’s dog caused the fire. The firebug canine got on his hind legs to snoop around several boxes that had been placed on the stovetop.

Unfortunately, while the dog was investigating the stovetop situation, it accidentally turned one of the stovetop’s knobs activating one of the heating elements before walking away.

The camera footage soon shows the stovetop element glowing as it heated up, eventually catching one of the boxes on fire, with flames reaching for the ceiling. The humans in the household were able to extinguish the fire before any severe injuries were caused, although one adult in the household was treated for smoke inhalation at a local hospital. No other injuries were reported. (Animal lovers will be glad to know the puppers also escaped without injury.)

Engine 23 arrived on scene at 4:47 a.m. at a residential home with no visible fire or smoke. Upon investigation, crews did not find any active fire but did find evidence of a fire. The male homeowner was able to extinguish the fire before crews got there but was later transported to a local hospital for smoke inhalation. No other injuries were reported to people or pets.

The homeowners were able to extinguish the kitchen fire in less time than it took firefighting crews to arrive, due in part to the family’s HomePod. The Apple smart speaker alerted the house occupants with a critical notice on their Apple devices. The family members say they received warnings of “high heat.” However, while the HomePod mini and second-generation HomePod do have temperature sensors, neither HomePod has the documented ability to send alerts about high temperatures.

On the other hand, the HomePod does have a Sound Recognition feature that can detect the sound of a fire alarm and alert users. The HomePod possibly used Sound Recognition to detect the sound of a smoke detector that the homeowners hadn’t heard, alerting them to the possibility of a fire in the residence. It isn’t known why the family did not hear the fire alarm that the HomePod must have “heard.”

HomePod Sound Recognition does not sound an audio alert, it instead sends an alert to connected Apple devices (iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches).

Here’s how to enable the Sound Recognition feature on your HomePods:

  1. Open the Home app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Select the three-dot menu in the top-right corner.
  3. Choose Home Settings.
  4.  Tap on Safety and Security.
  5. Select Sound Recognition.
  6. Toggle on Smoke and CO Alarm.
  7. Toggle on the switch beside the HomePods where you’d like sound recognition to be active.

Colorado Springs Fire Department would like to remind you to have a working smoke alarm in every room and hallway of your home, on every floor of your home. Also, be sure to keep flammable materials away from your stovetop or oven. Also, be sure to familiarize all family members with at least two exits out of every room in case of a fire.

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