A potentially life-saving device is being patented by its UK inventor. Andy Ging, from Oakwood in Derby has developed a product called ‘Letterbox Sentry’ which is designed to protect people who are living with harassment or abuse.
The letterbox is a significant development in home security, as standard letterboxes can be the method of entry into the house for a wide range of illegal activities, including arson and burglary. Fires have been caused by pouring accelerant through the letterbox, or a lit device being posted through. There are cases where people, including children, have lost their lives, so Mr Ging believes that his invention could not only cut crime, but save lives.
There are two versions of the letterbox: one which detects the vapour from petrol or other fire accelerants, and another which has a tamper sensor that would recognise unwelcome objects being put through the letterbox, such as wires or hooks. The letterboxes work on a timer system which can lock the letterbox whenever the owner chooses, and may include an alarm that alerts the homeowner if the sensor recognises tampering.
Mr Ging said he conducted a lot of research into the letterbox before he applied for a patent through the UK Intellectual Property Office, because he thought the idea would have already existed. Applying for a patent is a way for the inventor to protect his ownership of the invention, securing his rights for the future – whether he intends to produce the letterboxes himself or license the idea to other manufacturers.
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