News

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Guardian Angel wins US viewers' vote

Many congratulations to Greg Chavez, a firefighter from Camarillo, California, who has won American Inventor.

His device for preventing Christmas trees from catching fire won the backing not only of the expert panel but also the American public.

The ABC viewers' vote means Greg has secured a million dollars' worth of investment to help make his product a reality.

He came through after a grueling nationwide search to find the next great invention with wide consumer appeal.

I along with my fellow panelists - George Foreman, Sara Blakely and Pat Croce - visited cities around the US and narrowed down the initial entries to choose one finalist from each city.

Each city finalist was given $50,000 seed money to further develop and refine his or her product for the semifinal round.

It was then up to the American viewing audience to call in and vote for one of three finalists and the invention they felt was worthy of the one million dollar grand prize.

Greg emerged as the candidate you chose - a highly worthy winner whose life-saving product should help families the world over.

In his own words, here's how Greg Chavez described his Guardian Angel invention when he first contacted the programme team: "A small, pressurized tank of water, disguised as a Christmas package, that is placed under the Christmas tree and attached to a small hose leading to the top of the tree where a fusible link is disguised as an angel. The heat from a fire pops the link and water suppresses the fire. There is also an alarm that works without a battery&intended to suppress (not fully extinguish) a Christmas tree fire and sound an alarm to get people out of the house alive."

Greg will now need to push ahead to get the device manufactured and on sale.

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