Stove top fires
- December 1, 2010 1:13 PM |
- By Kevin Yarr
P.E.I.’s fire marshal is excited about a new product he believes could save lives.
The Safe-T-element is a sensor you install over your coil-type stovetop. It limits the heat on the element so an oil spill won’t catch fire. P.E.I. fire marshal Dave Blacquiere provided a dramatic demonstration for CBC-TV’s Compass, with paper quickly flaring up on an uncovered burner, and curling up and turning brown on the Safe-T-element.
Blacquiere would like to see Safe-T-elements in apartment buildings and is drawing it to the attention of provincial housing authorities. He said housing authorities in Ontario are embracing the technology.
I recently lost a lovely Le Creuset saucepan when I left it unattended, so the story caught my interest.
I remember from junior high school science class that you can boil water in a Bunsen burner in a paper bag, because the water keeps the paper cool. Presumably the cooling is the same on a pot, so you don’t necessarily need the red heat of a fully-engaged coil burner for cooking.
But what about boiling water? For that, you want to be pumping out as much energy as you can to get that water rolling.
The manufacturer has anticipated that question, and had independent testing done. Interestingly, the Safe-T-element outperforms a glass-ceramic stovetop with larger quantities of water, and for two litres of water it is about the same as the uncovered coil burner.
For four litres, however, boil time goes from about 11:30 to over 14 minutes. I really have to wonder how long it would take to boil water for lobster, maybe 12 or more litres of water. I note the first commenter on the CBC story has tried them, and does not give a favourable review.
I’d like to try these, but it would be an expensive experiment. A set of four goes for about $150, and they need to be installed by an electrician.
I think I’ll just need to pay closer attention if I get a new Le Creuset.
Have you cooked with the Safe-T-element?
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