BRAWA Research Project

In the BRAWA project of the BMBF experienced specialists and scientists are working on designing fire alarm systems for historic buildings.

About us
BRAWA Project, fire detector informs a helper via App
Im BRAWA-Projekt des BMBF arbeiten erfahrene Spezialisten und Wissenschaftler daran, Brandmeldesysteme für historische Gebäude zu konzipieren.
BMBF Logo, Federal Ministry of Education and Research

BRAWA Research Project

Smart Fire Detection System for our Cultural Treasures

Innovative, networked sensor technology and new smart technologies will be able to protect our cultural assets ever better in the future. In the BRAWA project of the the German Federal Ministry of education and research BMBF, experienced specialists and scientists are working on designing fire detection systems for historic buildings. Earlier than ever, dangerous situations can not only be detected and reported, but also remedied in time by energetic personnel.

>> The positive result: fewer fire department operations, less damage

Using a smartphone app, helpers are motivated to intervene and are guided according to the situation. After the intervention, they provide feedback to the app. Humans and the system share their knowledge and go through a learning process together, e.g. about the probability of fire damage.


New helper concept thanks to situation recognition and app

Unlike conventional solutions, the app does not issue an alarm without comment, but provides detailed information about the location of the danger zone, time of occurrence, type of fire and fire probability. It suggests measures such as opening windows, moving objects to safety, using fire blankets, etc. In addition, there is information about the type, location and place of auxiliary means, about free ways, about contact possibilities to fire helpers and to the fire department, etc.


Motivating helpers

The new system is designed to motivate and support people of all ages and levels of training to intervene on site in good time and to relieve the fire brigade. It is crucial that helpers do not get tired of stepping in, even in the event of repeated false alarms. The benefits and design of a reward system are currently being evaluated.


Common learning process for people and system

After intervention, the people helping can finally  provide feedback into the app on what actually happened, where, and why. The system learns from this and adapts proposed solutions for future scenarios – tailored to the specifics of the building and depending on the situation. The detection capability of the fire alarm system is continuously optimized, the number of unnecessary fire alarms diminishes, and the probability of fire damage diminishes as well.

Benefits of the Smart Fire Detection System

  • Efficient rescue and protection of unique cultural assets
  • Preservation of the value of cultural treasures
  • Early detection of fires already in the incipient stage
  • Significantly lower probability of destructive large-scale fires
  • Significantly fewer unnecessary fire brigade operations, cost savings and possibly lower insurance rates
  • Building-specific customization
  • Helpers can get started immediately with the simple and intuitive app
  • Alerts quickly and reliably
  • Motivational or reward system by active involvement of people
  • Learning system by feedback of the helpers
  • Additional information for facility managers about the status of the building

Project partners:

  • Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg (coordination, measurements, simulation)
  • The University of Muenster (Westfaelische Wilhelms-Universitaet, WWU) (Human-Computer Interaction)
  • Federal Institute of Materials Research & Testing, Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM), Berlin (measurements, testing
  • GTE Industrieelektronik GmbH, Viersen (sensor technology, algorithms, data processing
  • Hekatron Vertriebs GmbH, Sulzburg (interface to the app)
  • Association for the Promotion of German Fire Protection (Vereinigung zur Foerderung des Deutschen Brandschutzes e.V. – VFDB), Münster (user acceptance, testing, legal aspects)
  • Siemens AG, München (sensor technology, radio technology, drones)

Associated partners:

  • ZVEI e.V. Frankfurt a. Main
  • Klassik Stiftung Weimar
  • GdV e.V., Berlin
  • University Hospital Jena


The joint project “Preserving cultural assets by helper motivation and low fire probabilities (BRAWA)” is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of the “Research for Civil Security” program.

GTE Industrieelektronik participates as a project partner [funding code 13N15418] in the context of sensor technology, the development of evaluation algorithms and data processing.

GTE Industrieelektronik GmbH
+49 2162 3703-0