By now, you probably know all about FireAvert and its ability to prevent kitchen fires and protect homes and families. You may even know that Peter Thorpe, FireAvert’s founder, appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank and impressed the judges with his amazing product. But how much do you know about Peter, the firefighter behind FireAvert? We recently sat down with him for an interview to get to know him a little bit better.
Q. So, Peter, tell us how you came up with the idea for FireAvert.
A. I was working as a career firefighter in May of 2011 and had just left a call where we had to break down a door of an apartment building where the smoke alarms were blaring. The tenants were not home but they had left a pot of beans cooking on the stove. The apartment was filled with smoke and I thought to myself, “What if there was a way for the stove to turn off when the smoke alarm sounds?” And that is where the idea was born.
Q. Did you ever think years ago that you’d someday be running your own business?
A. When I was in high school I was a lifeguard and I remember meeting the local firefighters and thinking how great it would be to do that one day. I always enjoyed the idea of starting a business but I can honestly say I didn’t see that being in my career path. Now that I can do both and be a firefighter as well as run FireAvert, I feel pretty blessed to be able to do that.
Q. So what’s a typical day like for you?
A. Each day starts early at 6am with a little bike ride or short run. Phones start ringing at 8am and don’t stop until dinner. Each day is full of answering emails and taking care of current and future customers. One of my favorite tasks is looking at the vision of the company and making sure we’re moving in the right direction. Each week includes at least one stop to the warehouse to check up on logistics and shipping and traveling has become a normal part of life with flying all over the country to visit new and past customers. After appearing on Shark Tank life got a little busy and honestly was starting to make entrepreneurship not worth it. Now I try and work from my home office a couple days a week so I can see my wife and kids more. I have also started taking my wife and a child or two as often as possible on all my travels just to spend more time with them.
Q. Your family sounds pretty important to you. What do you like to do together?
A. I love spending time with my family. My wife and our four kids are my best friends and we love to go on adventures together camping, biking, and being outdoors.
Q.It’s great that you are able to spend time with them while also running this company—especially because FireAvert is helping so many people! How have you seen it change lives?
A. Yes, absolutely! Each week people that have used FireAvert report great success. Just this week a gentleman emailed saying “I bought FireAvert in May and in June it paid for itself.” It’s these fantastic emails that are really the pay days!
Q.To wrap this up, what’s something you’d like people to know about FireAvert?
A. I want people to know the reason I started FireAvert or my “why”. It was never about the money—it was always about helping people. I knew the idea of FireAvert could really help people. And that is still our “why” today. FireAvert is here to help people.