Fire Protection Research Foundation Releases Home Cooking Safety Technologies Report

The study identifies major cooking fire scenarios and focuses on the types of prevention technologies suitable for use on or with home cooking appliances, and provides an action plan on how to further utilize these technologies to improve cooking fire safety.

The Fire Protection Research Foundation (Foundation) is addressing ways to reduce the numbers of deaths, injuries, and property losses from home cooking fires. The Foundation recently released a report with the results of a study commissioned by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The study identified major cooking fire scenarios and focused on the types of prevention technologies suitable for use on or with home cooking appliances, and provided an action plan on how to further utilize these technologies to improve cooking fire safety. The Foundation is an affiliate of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Cooking equipment-related fires are a leading cause of U.S. fire loss. According to NFPA, from 2005-2009, cooking ranges accounted for 58 percent of the total reported home cooking equipment fires while accounting for 84 percent of deaths and 77 percent of injuries. As demand for home cooking appliances, in particular, stove tops increases, reducing the number of fire deaths and injuries related to cooking accidents remains a priority. The report provides an assessment of new and existing promising safety technologies or concepts that focus on three criteria consumers look for when buying products including fire protection effectiveness, cooking performance, and cost and convenience.

Several products sold on the market today already address safety for stove tops including those that provide motion sensors and alarms to warn homeowners of a potential fire during unattended cooking, as well as contact temperature sensors used to detect possible food ignitions due to excess heat. The report provides a status update of the development of this technology over the last 10 years and presents an assessment for future growth.

To conclude the project, leaders from the kitchen appliance, fire service, and user communities met at a workshop in July 2011 to review the results of the Foundation study and develop an action plan for identifying potential barriers to further research and product development of these emerging state-of-the-art technologies, and their effectiveness to mitigate home cooking fires.

The Foundation’s report, “Home Cooking Fire Mitigation: Technology Assessment” and workshop report are both available at www.nfpa.org/foundation. Additional information on home cooking fires and NFPA’s recent “Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment” report can be found at www.nfpa.org/cooking.

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