Beth Fuller

Fireproof: Redefining
The Smoke Alarm Experience

Thousands of people die every year in fires at home during which there was no operating smoke alarm. Most of the time, the alarms fail to operate not because they are broken, but because their owners have disconnected them or taken the batteries out. By studying how people interact with their smoke alarms, I have explored reasons why people knowingly disable their alarms, even though doing so puts their lives in danger. Ultimately, my thesis redefines and reprioritizes various aspects of the smoke alarm experience to create solutions that make people feel happier, calmer, and safer.


Beth was born and raised in Boston by amazing parents. Her lifelong partners in crime are her triplet brother and sister. After earning a degree in urban planning at Cornell, she loved the idea of positively influencing people through citywide planning initiatives. Beth’s education in industrial design is yet a further exploration of ways to impact people to make their lives better.