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East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service logo

Fire service calls for more investment in cooker shut down devices

Date : 05 April 2016


With 60% of accidental dwelling fires starting in the kitchen East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service are building on the success of their work with cooker shut down devices and encouraging other agencies to get involved.

Many kitchen fires occur because the occupier has become distracted and left their cooking unattended. To reduce this risk East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (ESFRS) are working with partners to promote the installation of cooker shut down devices (Stove Guard).

The Stove Guard devices comply with EN50615, the European standard for effective cooking safety products and can be retrofitted to any electric cooker. Consisting of an intelligent heat sensor and a control unit, the Stove Guard is an innovative safety device that can be installed within any domestic property and effectively prevents electric cooker fires from starting.

A heat sensor attached to the cooker hood or wall assesses the temperature of the cooker top and identifies when there is a steep rise in temperature. If an unsafe temperature is detected the heat sensor wirelessly communicates with the control unit, which in turn cuts off the electricity supply to the cooker.

The University of Brighton has been an excellent example of the successful use of Stove Guards. After installing the devices in one Halls of residence in 2014 the University has since fitted stove guards in all student accommodation on campus.

Nick Greenwood, Fire Safety Adviser at the University of Brighton said, “The data has just been published for the entire residential halls with a Stove Guard fitted in each kitchen. In the period August 2015 - December 2015, we had five false alarms. During the same period in 2014, we had fourteen false alarms so there has been a dramatic reduction in unwanted fire alarm activations, due to cooking activity.”

Students aren’t alone in benefitting from the devices. The Service are now focusing on installing devices in the homes of vulnerable members of the community and are working with Eastbourne Homes in Eastbourne and Amicus Horizon in Hastings.

Eastbourne Homes said, “So far ten devices have been installed in properties managed by Eastbourne Homes. We want to protect our residents who are at high risk, and their homes, from potentially life threatening fires. These simple but effective devices are enabling us to do that.”

In Hastings Locality Manager Keith Morris has been working with Amicus Horizon, Keith said, “This is a simple yet effective means of preventing accidental cooking fires. We have worked closely with Amicus Horizon in Hastings & Rother and have identified and successfully installed two of the devices which both ESFRS and Amicus Horizon have funded.”

Amicus Horizon Neighbourhood Manager Mike Bushall added, “By working in partnership with East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and using new technology we’ve reduced the potential risk of fire for our more vulnerable residents. We’ll continue to work together to deliver a co-ordinated approach to fire safety which benefits our residents across Sussex.”

For further information on the Stove Guard please contact Steve Wright ESFRS Community Safety at Stephen.Wright@esfrs.org.

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