Is the stove also off? This helps against the uncertainty
Is the stove off? I have turned off the iron? Is the iron in the bath unplugged? The answer in most cases is yes. Nevertheless, many people are plagued by a feeling of insecurity when they leave their apartment or house. Some people even go back and look again. There are, however, for little money a few useful helpers, for the forgetful – and to reduce the real residual risk. An overview:
You take the pot off the stove, but forget to turn the stove off. Or the pot with the boiling tea water is completely forgotten on it. Or you accidentally turn the switch when passing by. Anyone who believes that such things do not happen after all should take note of the figures from the institute for loss prevention and loss research of the public insurers:
39 percent of all house fires start in the kitchen. Half of them occur at the stove – and almost all of them are caused by human error. Two out of three stove fires are caused by an accidentally switched on appliance.
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A stove monitor can help here. This sensor is mounted above the hob, explains the initiative elektro+. It monitors time, movement, power consumption and temperature of the stove and top contents. Some devices also monitor if there is movement nearby and if something unusual, such as a bag, is lying on the hot stove field. If the device sounds an alarm in the event of irregularities and this is not deactivated within a few seconds, the stove monitor switches off the power supply.
Simple devices are available from about 120 euros, branded products are around 350 euros plus installation. They can also be retrofitted to old cooktops.
The two components must be installed by an electrician.
The power monitoring unit is installed in the stove supply line between the socket and the hob, explains initiative elektro+. Normally, this unit is installed in the base of the kitchen or in the base cabinet. The sensors are mounted on the cooker hood or on the wall.
Heat detectors in the kitchen do not provide real protection for the appliances, but for the occupants. They register unusual heat in the kitchen, which may be caused by a forgotten pot on the stove, explains the "smoke detectors save lives" campaign. Ordinary smoke detectors would not be able to distinguish smoke, heat and steam generated during cooking from an incipient fire. In the meantime, however, there are also products whose sensors detect overheating here as well.
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Warm detectors react when a temperature of more than 60 degrees is registered or when the ambient temperature rises very quickly within a short period of time. In rooms other than the kitchen, the experts recommend using conventional smoke detectors, because they react more quickly. They are already compulsory in most federal states and belong in living and sleeping quarters.
The water detector:
Every time you watch a commercial on tv, you go down to the basement, worried that the old washing machine is rattling? The fear of water damage can be counteracted by a small box. Water detectors on the floor of the kitchen, in the bathroom or in the basement sound the alarm if the contact points come into contact with liquid, explains initiative elektro+.
This can happen, for example, when a water hose bursts, a pipe breaks or even heavy rain floods the room. Simple devices are available from seven euros.
The time switch plug:
The iron you use to freshen up your shirts in the morning and the flat iron you really use after washing your hair are factors of insecurity when you leave the house. Sockets on which the appliances are usually hooked can be shut off with an interconnected adapter with a time switch. Simple analog models are available for as little as ten euros.
Hermann schreck, vice president of the german firefighters association, emphasizes, however, that the helpers are not suitable for all situations. For example, for dementia patients and forgetful seniors, the stoves are often equipped with timers and only enabled for cooking for a couple of minutes.
"But there have also been cases where a bag of groceries has been left on the hot stovetop and forgotten at exactly the same time." also you always have to reckon with technical defects.
The smart home solutions:
Smartphones can control everything – even the house. With many applications it is possible to check remotely whether devices are really switched off. And sometimes they can even be regulated retrospectively. This can be done, for example, by networking the devices themselves. For classic household appliances such as washer-dryers and washing machines, almost every manufacturer now has solutions that can be controlled via app or network, reports the initiative elektro+.
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Alternatively, individual sockets can be rusted so that they can be checked and controlled from a smartphone. For this purpose, there are flush-mounted models that are integrated into the elements or, for example, intermediate plugs that are used like adapters for trips abroad. They come with a small base station, called a bridge, that connects smartphones and wall outlets via the home router and the internet.
Prices for smart home systems vary according to the level of equipment in the house. Since most of the systems are modular, it is possible to ruffle feathers on a small scale at first, explains the initiative elektro+. For example, it is possible to ruffle up only sockets at first and then gradually integrate lighting.