Fire Safety and Pollution Control while Cooking

By Deepshikha Shukla

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Cooking releases several pollutants as well as particulate matter into the air. When such pollutants are exhausted from a kitchen, these can release smoke, grease and odours in outdoor air. Exposure to contaminated air may lead to such health problems as asthma, cough and respiratory tract infections.

Nest Protect
Nest Protect

Most victims of fires die due to inhalation of smoke or toxic gases rather than burns. Cooking is the primary cause of home fires. Smart sensors, powerful chimneys, smoke detectors and alarms can be added to the kitchen for safety purposes. Keeping a fire extinguisher near the kitchen for the worst cases and learning how to use it can come in handy in case of emergencies.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is making possible a new wave of smart kitchen gadgets, from sensors that maintain a favourable temperature to those that keep track of activities on the stove. Here is a roundup of safety devices for your kitchen.

Nest updated app makes smoke alarms smarter
Nest updated app makes smoke alarms smarter (Credit: https://androidcommunity.com)

Smoke detectors

A smoke detector keeps an eye on things and can send alerts about a problem at home to users anywhere in the networked world. It can be used anywhere in the house, but is especially useful in the kitchen, where it can check for gas buildup from a leaky or forgotten stove.

A smoke detector, like Birdi, monitors smoke, carbon-monoxide, pollen, particulates, temperature and humidity. If any of these rise to worrisome levels, it alerts the users and anyone else who is authorised (friends, family or neighbours) via text message, or an automated call to the cellphone or landline. This way users know something is wrong even when they are not at home to hear the alarm.

Multiple devices can also repeat alarms from other rooms or even other houses if the neighbours connect their device to the users’.

Some smart fire alarm devices like Nest Protect also follow voice commands.

There are two types of smoke detectors, namely, battery-powered ones and those that can be connected to the main electric supply. Some can also be integrated with other smart home devices. The best ones, however, are the dual sensor alarms, which are a combination of ionisation and photoelectric technology.

Chimneys

For a smoke-free and healthy cooking experience, there are various chimneys available in the market in variable sizes and power. These provide control at one touch, or motion of the hand, with the help of touch and motion sensors. Motion sensor feature enables chimneys to be switched on with just a wave of the hand.

A heat sensor enables the chimney to start automatically when cooking starts. An LPG sensor switches on the chimney if there is any leakage in the kitchen and throws all the gas out of the kitchen. A motor with thermal overload protector ensures that, in case of overheating, the motor does not burn out. Suction power of the chimney leads to the removal of combustion products, odour, fumes, steam, smoke, heat and grease that develop during cooking.

Auto clean feature cleans the oil and residue collected in the chimney automatically. This makes their working and maintenance easier. Size and power of the chimney depend on the size of the kitchen, the kind of cooking and how often cooking is done in a day.

Three chimneys with the desired features are:

  • Glen Auto Clean Chimney 6063 SS. Has 90cm width, 230W motor, 1200m3/hr suction power, baffle filters, touch sensor, heat auto-clean function with noise level less than 58dB
  • Hindware Alicia Plus. Has 90cm width, auto-clean chimney, 1200m3/hr suction power, touch control with motion sensor, double-layer SS filter, noise level less than 58dB, 215W motor
  • Faber Primus Energy. Has 90cm width, 1500m3/hr suction power, baffle filter, thermal auto-clean, metal blower, touch control, noise 58dB, 250W motor power
Elica 1200m3/hr heat auto-clean with touch control
Elica 1200m3/hr heat auto-clean with touch control

Remote control feature allows users to operate the chimney remotely if they are caught up with other tasks. 2D filter technology has two filters placed in two directions, horizontally and vertically, which, when combined, filter the air comprehensively. The filters ensure that every particle, oil and residue is trapped effectively for a smoke-free clean kitchen. The metal blower eliminates the task of replacement of filters at regular intervals.

A timer-enabled chimney helps in effortlessly managing cooking time by auto-setting the duration of various functions. The timer automatically switches off the chimney after the set time. A chimney with a powerful motor having high suction capacity, longer operational life, less power consumption and less noise works wonders.

Smart sensors for safe cooking

Safera Sense

It allows you to connect the stove to a smart home ecosystem. It can immediately recognise the temperature if it rises to a dangerously high level. If this happens, the device will send an alarm signal and automatically shut down the power supply before the oil bursts into flames. This device has over ten sensors to measure stove temperature, activities and air quality.

 Safera sensor for smart cooking
Safera sensor for smart cooking

Inside the device, a processor continuously analyses the data to monitor possible events. In addition, all recorded data is sent to the mobile device. The device monitors stove temperature, power consumption and human presence. It prevents cooking fires by triggering the alarm and, if necessary, turning off the stove.

The connected Safera app gives live diagnostics of house temperature, humidity and air quality. In turn, it notifies the users as to when to increase stove ventilation, or even open a window. The second the users start cooking, it creates a cooking timeline in Safera app. It recognises various cooking events and sets up automatic timers for each of them. For example, if the users do not remember how long they have been cooking the pasta, they can simply check the app and scroll back to past events. It enables them to control the stove using voice commands. It is designed to measure a variety of air quality levels, including air quality index, temperature, humidity and more.


 

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