Stovetop Fires in Multi-Family BuildingsOctober 21, 2020
Why COVID19 is Turning Up the Heat for Cooking Fires
Some communities are reporting 20-50% more kitchen fires than usual (and “usual” was already far too many). Now more than ever, building owners and propertymanagers want to ensure their buildings, staff and tenants are protected from the ravages of cooking fires.
A Spike in Cooking Fires
Why the drastic increase?
Even in the better times (pre-Covid, 2013-2017), the statistics were already alarming: Cooking fires were and remain the number one cause of residential fires and fire injuries. They are the second leading cause of home fire deaths.
Q: #1 reason for a kitchen fire?
A: Unattended cooking, according to the NFPA.
Here are a few of the reasons we’re seeing more cooking fires now.
People are eating more meals at home.
More cooking equals more fires. But this math can be corrected; with the right technology and the right solution, preventing kitchen fires is a realistic goal.
Stress and isolation are adding to distraction.
With routines disrupted, the usual kitchen safety rules can easily be forgotten: Not dressing up for school or work means casual (and dangerous) clothes draping over hot stovetops; Parents juggling work and family means that when the phone pings or the baby cries in the other room, the pot on the hot stove may be left alone. And that can very quickly result in thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in property damage.
Alcohol and drug use is on the rise.
Sales of alcohol have skyrocketed. Too often cooking fires happen because they are left alone to happen – while people are distracted, impaired or sleeping.
Help Stop Cooking Fires Before they Happen
Proven solutions are out there.
In the name of preventing cooking fires, Pioneering Technology stands out as a leader of innovative products and technology. The solutions come in the form of temperature limiting control technology to products that actually shut off the appliance as soon as they detect a cooking fire risk.
SmartBurner™ uses Temperature Limiting Control (TLC) technology to help stop the high-end heat that causes cooking fires in the first place. It allows you to cook food not homes. This technology has been installed more than a million times without a single cooking fire.
This simple plug-in replacement for electric coils, controls the high-end heat of stove top cooking. (Traditional electric coils can produce almost eight times the heat needed to boil water and more than twice the temperature needed to ignite most cooking oils.)
While there are many successful case studies, here’s one that the NFPA called out in its July 2020 report on Home Cooking Fires:
“The Worcester Fire Department in Massachusetts retrofitted electric coil ranges with temperature limiting controls in four apartment buildings for low-income older adults that together had experienced an average of 12 reported cooking fires per month in 2015. Roughly 800 ranges were retrofitted. No stovetop fires were reported in any of those units during the 10 months after installation.”
Pioneering Technology also offers prevention solutions for smooth top electric ranges, induction stoves and microwave ovens.