FireAvert

“Being a firefighter is fun and rewarding, but so is being an entrepreneur."

 When Peter Thorpe responded to another fire call for the Provo Fire Department, it was just a typical day. Upon arriving at the scene, there was smoke in the air and panicked apartment owners fleeing for safety. While this disaster could have easily been much worse, it also could have simply been prevented.

“We forced up a door and crawled under there and it was just beans on the stove,” Thorpe said. “I was driving a fire truck home and remember looking over at the captain saying, ‘Why can’t we have that smoke alarm communicate and turn off the stove?’ We both realized that would prevent a lot of fires.”

From that short conversation, FireAvert was born. Now, 10 years later, Peter Thorpe is the owner of a company that is growing more and more each year. More than anything, he thanks his education from the Utah Valley University Emergency Services Department for that.

“For me it was more than just getting certified, I wanted to have a college degree,” Thorpe said. “UVU was the best opportunity to get a degree with a firefighting certification.”

Thorpe also credits the Recruit Candidate Academy at UVU with helping him learn skills that were crucial to his success as an entrepreneur. 

“They really teach you to be problem solvers. That’s what firefighters do best,” Thorpe said. “We get called out to who knows what kind of emergency and we have to think quickly about how to solve that problem. With a business, you’re always having to solve problems and overcome. Whether it’s a manufacturing problem, or how do we get this patent, how do we sell this, how do we market it.”

 

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fire avert utah valley university uvu emergency services administration firefighter recruit candidate academy

In 2015, Thorpe appeared on Shark Tank, ABC’s multi-Emmy Award-winning entrepreneurial-themed reality show, landing a deal with one of the sharks to help the business grow. In the end, the deal fell through, but the exposure FireAvert gained from being on Shark Tank was enough to make the business boom. Now, the company partners with Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation, and is in the process of installing FireAvert in many timeshares and vacation rentals around the world.

“Being a firefighter is fun and rewarding, but so is being an entrepreneur,” Thorpe said. “The fact that you’re building something, you grow something from an idea, to a product, to a business…(to eventually) receive testimonials from customers saying that we helped prevent a fire.”

Thorpe’s education at UVU was a springboard for his successes. It helped him not only become a firefighter, but enabled him to move forward and solve a problem that many homeowners face today. 

 

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