Home Appliance Industry Announces Plan to Reduce Unattended Cooking Fire
WASHINGTON, DC — The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, representing the vast majority of kitchen range and cook top manufacturers selling in North America, announced a plan to help reduce the potential for unattended cooking fires, while maintaining the cooking performance that consumers have come to expect.
More than 100 million ranges and cooktops are in use today in the United States largely without incident. Unattended cooking, however, remains the leading cause of household fires in the United States and Canada.
“Today’s announcement represents a leap forward in product safety improvement, made possible by recent advancements in technology," said Joseph M. McGuire, AHAM president. "It will take cooperation and collaboration from all stakeholders and ultimately will allow the industry to provide significant safety enhancements to the appliances that consumers rely upon daily."
By the end of 2014, AHAM will propose to the leading U.S. and Canadian safety standards organizations, UL and the Canadian Standards Association, a test procedure to evaluate sensors and other devices that will prevent cookware from reaching the ignition temperatures associated with common cooking oils.
This new test procedure initially will apply to electric cooktop requirements, helping to reduce the potential for surface cooking fires. The industry will prioritize standards development for electric coil ranges and cooktops, which represent the majority of cooking-fire-related incidents. In parallel with collaborating with UL and CSA on this important phase, technical and product safety experts in AHAM member companies will be working together to determine how similar tests and requirements ultimately can be applied to radiant glass ceramic, induction, and gas cooktops and ranges.
AHAM members believe that a phased approach provides the best balance between protecting consumers’ interests and continuing to offer high-performing, quality products. This overall plan, coupled with enhanced consumer education and awareness activities, is designed to contribute to a significant reduction in the incidence of unattended cooking fires.
For more information about the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, visit www.aham.org.