Safeguarding homes

Growing business working to prevent wildfire destruction

CREATING A DEFENSE Shawn Sahbari is the president and CEO of Komodo Fire Systems, which develops eco-friendly products to protect property from wildfires. Photo: Erik Chalhoub

Shawn Sahbari anticipates a time in the near future when the word “Komodo” is used as a verb.

Possible uses include “Have you Komodoed the lawn?” or “Builders Komodoed the home’s sprinkler system.”

That verb refers to Sahbari’s growing business, Komodo Fire Systems, which is developing a line of non-toxic products that can protect homes from advancing wildfires.

It comes at a crucial time when wildfires in California and other parts of the world have been setting records on nearly an annual basis. As such, the products have been generating intense interest from firefighting agencies, municipalities and other industries worldwide.

“I fully envision this as an industry,” Sahbari said. “We are just scratching the surface.”

Komodo Fire Systems recently moved from Gilroy to a larger facility in Morgan Hill, where it develops and ships its products. 

Its K-100 Perimeter Shield, for example, is water-based and free from harmful chemicals, Sahbari said, and is used to coat vegetation around the perimeter of homes, farms and other areas. When the treated areas are exposed to fire or extreme heat, the vegetation or wood forms a carbon-char, which interferes with combustion and prevents fire propagation, the product description explains.

Sahbari said the product can last throughout a typical fire season before it needs to be applied again.

The K-300 Wood Shield can be applied to structures that are in the path of a wildfire. The heat of an approaching fire causes the coating to swell, which insulates the structure from the fire, according to Komodo.

Sahbari said the initial goal of the company is to raise awareness of Komodo Fire Systems, as he believes its products can help save lives, property and the environment. It’s a cause that hits home, as Sahbari’s father lost his home in the Tubbs Fire in Santa Rosa in 2017.

As California wildfires grow in magnitude, Sahbari hopes his company will play a large role in protecting people from the destruction.

“I’m happy if we can even make a dent in it,” he said.

Sahbari is no stranger to creating environmentally friendly products that safeguard others.

With a background in the semiconductor industry, Sahbari is well-known in Silicon Valley with the start-up of several companies beginning in the 1980s and holds a number of patents and trademarks. 

Green Polymer Systems, a specialty materials business, began in 2001 and its products were developed to create clean energy alternatives. A division, Bear Essentials, offers personal protection equipment including masks, gloves, sanitizers and other products dealing with Covid-19.

Another business he formed, Green Canary, grew quickly earlier in the last decade during a years-long drought in California. The grass-coloring business allows homeowners to turn their brown grass to green, saving water costs and boosting curb appeal.

Sahbari said his businesses are the result of finding solutions to various issues.

“You find a problem and you have to come up with a solution,” he said. “It’s not going to be found on the shelf.”

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