Posted: Thursday 23rd November 2017

Three organisations have joined forces to pioneer the use of an innovative life saving fire safety device connected to a telecare response centre. And it’s happened right here in Hertfordshire.
Herts Careline, Living Safely (suppliers of Stove Guard in the UK), and Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue Service met North Hertfordshire Homes residents Sheila and Denzil Male of Ickleford, Hitchin, to ask them to take part in a pilot study of the Stove Guard system – a smart device that prevents unattended cooking fires.

Stove Guard automatically turns a cooker off if it gets too hot or if it is left on after cooking – significantly reducing the risk of a fire ever happening. As Mrs Male lives with memory loss, she had become reluctant to cook as she was fearful of causing a fire by leaving the cooker on. Now with the Stove Guard (installed by Welwyn Garden Alarms) in place, and with Herts Careline and Herts Fire & Rescue’s emergency telecare response support connected as a backup, the couple have now regained their independence and can cook for themselves without the risk of fire.

“I think it’s a wonderful thing” said Mrs Male. “It’s such a reassurance and makes me feel confident I can cook safely again. I’m grateful to all the efforts of Herts Careline for asking me to be part of this trial.”

Andrew Godman, Head of Housing and Public Protection at North Hertfordshire District Council, who operate Herts Careline, said: “We’re delighted to pioneer the use of this kind technology in partnership with Herts Fire and Rescue Service. We are always looking for new ways to help the residents of Hertfordshire and Stove Guard provides a means of significantly reducing the risk of domestic fires. Once the pilot is complete, we can see how best to make this technology accessible to a wider audience.”

Steve Holton, Area Commander Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue Service (HFRS), said: “HFRS are delighted to work with Herts Careline and Living Safely to introduce the Stove Guard to telecare – the first of its kind in the United Kingdom. Unlike traditional smoke detectors, the Stove Guard prevents a fire happening in the first place. This keeps people safer and independent in their own homes.”

Peter Holland of Living Safely, said: “We are very grateful to Mr and Mrs Male and Herts Careline in piloting Stove Guard’s connection to Telecare in the UK. As Andrew explained, the connection to Telecare extends the capability of Stove Guard beyond fire prevention and adds further value to the Herts Careline service. We would also like to thank Innohome for their cooperation in making the telecare connection possible. Innohome are the creators of Stove Guard – a system now in use in 300,000 homes across Europe. We are sure that Stove Guard will go on to play an increasing role in supporting the safety and independence of elderly residents in the UK.”

Photos: Mr & Mrs Male at home with (L-R) Carl Holland, Assistive Technologies Officer, Herts Careline; Steve Holton, Area Commander Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue Service; and Peter Holland of Living Safely.
The Stove Guard device can be seen above the cooker on the ceiling.