Development of a Sensing Device to Reduce the Risk from Kitchen Fires
Fires originating from cooking areas are the second leading cause of fatalities and loss related to residential fires. The predominant root cause of residential stovetop cooking fires has been found to result from unattended cooking. The installation of smoke detectors can only detect and at best alert residents to a fire hazard. Control technologies for cutting gas supply to cooking devices upon receiving signals from detectors is not new. Many of stovetop mitigation technologies are currently in existence as consumer products or patents, however little evaluation has been conducted on these products in order to develop a more efficient and effective device to help reduce the frequency of cooking related fires. The paper presents a short review of literature and goes on to discuss a fire sensing device developed to act as a pre-ignition sensor that will cut off power supply to cooking devices upon receiving inputs from a detection device. The device proved to be effective when it was tested both in the laboratory and a real kitchen environment. The installation of this device, in addition to an installed detection device will play a major role in reducing the risk of most kitchen fires.