Preventing cooking fires: Report sets groundwork for guidelines
In an effort to help improve cooking safety, the Fire Protection Research Foundation (Foundation), an affiliate of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), has released a report to help establish future standard test protocols for new and emerging technologies designed to prevent cooking fires. Currently, no such standards exist.
The “Development of Standardized Cooking Fires for Evaluation of Prevention Technologies” report, conducted in partnership with Hughes Associates, Inc., included the results of two live fire test series that took a look at the pre-ignition conditions for cooking oils in pans on electric surface cooktop ranges, and identified conditions that would present the greatest challenges to future prevention technologies. Examples of such prevention devices include special cooking ranges that control the amount of heat output or shut off after detecting excess heat.
Cooking equipment-related fires are a leading cause of U.S. fire loss. From 2007 – 2011, more than 150,000 home structure fires involving cooking equipment were reported, causing over 400 annual deaths and 5,800 injuries, and $853 million in direct property damage each year, according to NFPA’s “Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment” report.
“As cooking fires remain the number one cause of home fires, it is important to continue working on ways to develop standardized testing for new technologies related to cooking safety,” says Kathleen Almand, NFPA vice president for research and executive director of the Fire Protection Research Foundation. “This latest report gets us one important step closer to establishing a standard protocol that will help protect consumers in the kitchen.”
Hughes Associates and NFPA have been working together since 2010 to review such technological options.
More information about NFPA’s work with Hughes Associates around cooking safety technology can be found in the 2013 report, “Development of Standardized Cooking Fires for Evaluation of Prevention Technologies: Phase One Date Analysis.” The report is a follow up to a Foundation project, "Home Cooking Fire Mitigation: Technology Assessment," completed in 2011 that identified and assessed these technologies.
About the Fire Protection Research Foundation
The Fire Protection Research Foundation plans, manages, and communicates research on a broad range of fire safety issues in support of the NFPA mission. The Foundation is an affiliate of NFPA.
About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. NFPA develops more than 300 codes and standards to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other hazards. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed at no cost at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.