Fire is the greatest risk to you and your home
The largest single cause of residential fires is COOKING FIRES.
In fact 30 – 36% of all fires in Canada start while cooking. Cooking fires cost home owners and the insurance industry billions.
Let’s discuss what we know, and what we can do to mitigate the risks and costs.
What Causes Cooking Fires
In virtually all cases cooking fires are caused by inattention. Stovetop fires seldom happen when someone is actively attending to the stove. But only a few minutes of unattended cooking and your home could be a complete loss; with people injured or killed, months of cleanup, paperwork and insurance issues to deal with.
We all get distracted, the phone rings, someone comes to the door or something interesting grabs your eye on the TV, it can happen to the best and sharpest; But there are two groups who greatly increase the risk of cooking fires; both the young and the seniors.
· Mistake one: Not watching the pan
· Mistake two: When a stovetop fire starts they panic and react poorly.
· Mistake three: They try to pick up the pan to carry it somewhere, burn their hands then spill the flaming grease spreading the fire.
· Mistake four: WATER, throwing water on a cooking fire seems to be instinctive, but it is the worst thing you can do and may cost you your life. When water hits high temperature fats or oils in the pan it instantly turns to steam, expanding to over 1500 times its size in an instant, it drives the fire like an explosion and can engulf a kitchen in a split second.
Additional Fire Risk in an Aging Population
The demographic profile of society is rapidly changing. Within the next decade the senior population is predicted to rise from 13% of the current population, to 20%.
The senior population is the fastest growing segment in Canada; and therefore deserves close attention. As seniors live longer and more independent lives thanks to improved health care and medical advances, there will be a corresponding increase in fires caused by seniors.
Older adults account for 35 percent of fire deaths. Seniors are more at risk, due to many factors including medications, mobility, mental & physical illness, and declining mental acuity; seniors are not only at increased risk of starting a fire, but also of dying in residential fires.
Why Kids and Young Families are at Greater Risk
Is there anyone less attentive than a teenager with something else on their mind?
When a teenager is cooking unsupervised, it only takes a phone call or text from a friend to send them running to the web to see the most recent viral content. It might only be the scream of a smoke alarm that brings them back to what they were doing; which may be too late to take effective action. Young parents are frequently sleep deprived, and preoccupied with the children. A baby’s cry or yell for mom, can distract from the focus on the stove.
Speed is of the Essence
Depending on what was cooking and type of smoke detectors used, some cooking fires can ignite and burn for well over a minute before the smoke alarm activates. Fires often double in size every minute. This exponential growth means a small pan fire can cause an un-survivable flashover situation in as little as 4 minutes.
Its Getting Worse, Not Better
While virtually all types of residential fires have been in decline throughout Canada over the last decades, the same can’t be said about cooking fires; which have actually increased by 18% from 2003 – 2013 and injuries caused by cooking fires have increased at an even higher rate.
You would think that over time our furniture and possessions would be less prone to fire, but you’d be wrong.
Today the materials that make up our homes, and furniture is actually not only more flammable but creates more toxic gases than in the past, the plastics and manmade materials burn hotter and faster; resulting in faster flashover conditions and lower survival rates for those trapped in this smoky hell.
But We Have a Smoke Alarm & Fire Extinguisher
Excellent, glad to hear it! Smoke alarms and extinguishers save lives and buildings, but Extinguishers can be problematic as well. Most cooking fires start when there is no one watching the pan, so there is no one to use the extinguisher early on, while it can still be contained.
Smoke alarms can take anywhere from 30 seconds to 3 minutes before they sound for cooking fires.
In that time the fire has likely grown to about 5 times its original size.
Most people don’t know how to use an extinguisher.
ALWAYS KEEP YOURSELF BETWEEN THE FIRE AND THE EXIT
You are not a fire fighter because you have a fire extinguisher, making a mistake at this point can make things worse .
Are you or your family going to remember this, react quickly and effectively to extinguish this fire?
What’s the Cost of a Kitchen Fire?
Depending on who you speak with, an average kitchen fire can range from $25,000 to well over $100,000. The cost of kitchen fires has been increasing as well. The average dollar cost of a kitchen fire has increased 73% between 2003 & 2013
What’s the Solution
Sprinklers are the best solution, but not a likely upgrade to the average home or apartment.
Another fact is Sprinklers cause a lot of damage, it would be preferential if a less damaging system could intercede before the sprinklers.
Commercial kitchens are required to have fire suppression systems because they’re proven to work. There are other fire suppression systems designed for residential cook tops but they cost thousand and require plumbing and installation by professionals.
These choices are obviously not a retrofit solution for residential kitchens.
Put it Out, Before it Gets Out of the Pan
I would love to be able to tell you of a range of solutions, but the fact is; there is only one affordable, automated, easy to install and extremely effective, residential cook top fire suppression solution on the market; and its called StoveTop FireStop
Don’t wait until it happens, protect your loved ones today
Click here to Buy StoveTop FireStop – ON SALE
Also perfect for the cottage, or rental suites