Alarm for burnt cooking?

This is the second time in as many weeks I have left the pot on a hot stove and forgot about it. Its just the smells and a lot of pot scrubbing so far. I live alone and this is a dangerous new development. My problem is age related. I did not have to deal with before as I was less forgetful then.
The advice sought is what safety devices are there out there to prevent this kind of problem?
Is there some timer cutoff switch mechanism for the stove? Are there loud alarm timers? On alarms it is not that useful if it only sounds at the preset time and I may have stepped out of the door before it sounds.
My ideal safety device on the wish list will be for a proximity sensor that will shut off or minimize the power to the stove if I am out of the kitchen. Now that I have voiced this maybe I can adapt one of those outdoor lamp proximity sensors to do something in the kitchen. Any suggestions how to do this?
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Klm wrote:

Sorry to hear of your problem. I don't know of any cut offs, but I do h ave a couple of suggestiosn that may help.
One is to try microwaving more. The advantage of a MW is that the timer counts down and shuts off.
The other thing is to buy a timer that clips on or on a chain around your neck. Just get into the habit of setting the timer when you start to cook. You can estimate the cooking time, add a few minutes and if the timer goes off, you know to check the stove. If you turn everything off, then just turn the timer off. -- Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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1 - DON'T LEAVE THE KITCHEN WITH ANYTHING ON OR IN THE STOVE!!!!! (There I yealled at you like I've done with my own mom!)
2 -A timer - and not a little dingie type that rings for a few seconds and then stops, but something load that keeps ringing until you turn it off. They you set it for 5, 10, 15 whatever time is appropriate for what you are cooking so it ring loud and long until you remeber to turn off the burner.
3 - smoke detectors! good ones that will sound and wake you up if you are dozing off. And then if they sound GET OUT OF THE HOUSE AND CALL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT FROM A NEIGHBOR'S HOUSE!!! (YELLING AGAIN!!!!!)

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You don't say if the range is electric or gas. I'm assuming electric. Check with the power company and with the manufacture of the range. The average timer appliances are normally for 110 volt service. The electric range runs on 220 so don't try one of them or you WILL have a fire (if you live through the shock). Smoke alarms of course won't help until there is smoke. And as you say you may have stepped out by that time. The ideal system you describe would be something that worked on a motion sensor. No activity in given time and power is knocked. Talk to an electrician and/or security system installer. Interesting problem, I'm sure a lot of people have. Let us know if you figure something out.
Good luck.

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a hot

pot
deal with

Sounds like a call for a smoke detector.
Bob
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Optical (not ionization) type. More sensitive, but a little harder to find.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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A sensitive smoke alarm should help. I've heard of people disconnecting some models because a hot shower would set off a hall-mounted alarm. One of those would signal before things burst into flame.
I carry my kitchen timer upstairs when I'm cooking rice. There are many that actually are meant to be worn around one's neck. I'd think it'd be a lot easier to remind yourself than to install elaborate stove cut-offs. *Anything* cooked over high heat or that may become dangerously hot over time (jam) shouldn't be left alone.
Remind yourself with posted checklists. I used a mantra every time I left for work: "heat's off; light's off; coffee's off; cat's out." This reminded me to turn down the heat (or A/C), switch off some lights, make sure the coffeepot was off, and make sure the cat was either in or out, depending on the weather. My neighbor with an ADHD kid used a post-it on the inside of the front door -- "keys? books? homework? gym clothes?" Pilots use checklists before takeoff to remind them to do the proper things in the proper sequence. I'm sure you can train yourself to remember/read a few things before you leave the kitchen.
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You may want to check with local senoir citizen organizations or the AARP. Your problem isn't unique and I am sure there are devices available to help.
Chris
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a hot

pot
deal with

Sounds like a classic case of A.A.A.D.D. Copy of description I received below.
Subject: A.A.A.D.D.
Recently, I was diagnosed with A.A.A.D.D. - Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder. This is how it manifests:
I decided to wash my car. As I start toward the garage, I notice that there is mail on the hall table. I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car. I lay my car keys down on the table, put the junk mail in the trashcan under the table, and notice that the trashcan is full.
So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the trash first. But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox when I take out the trash anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.
I take my checkbook off the table, and see that there is only one check left. My extra checks are in my desk in the study, so I go to my desk where I find the bottle of soda that I had been drinking.
I'm going to look for my checks, but first I need to push the soda aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over. I see that the soda is getting warm, and I decide I should put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.
As I head toward the kitchen with the soda, a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye--they need to be watered. I set the soda down on the counter, and I discover my reading glasses that I've been searching for all morning.
I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I'm going to water the flowers. I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and suddenly I spot the TV remote. Someone left it on the kitchen table. I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, we will be looking for the remote, but nobody will remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers.
I splash some water on the flowers, but most of it spills on the floor. So, I set the remote back down on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill.
Then I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.
At the end of the day: the car isn't washed, the bills aren't paid, there is a warm bottle of soda sitting on the counter, the flowers aren't watered, there is still only one check in my checkbook, I can't find the remote, I can't find my glasses, and I don't remember what I did with the car keys.
Then when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all day long, and I'm really tired. I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail.
Do me a favor, will you? Forward this message to everyone you know, because I don't remember who I've sent it to.
----------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------
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wrote:
Its no laughing matter. I'm getting there.

I have mild Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It was really bad and disruptive for many years until I discovered I was intolerant to a number of foods. If I avoid those my CFS is managable. "Brain fog" is one of the symptoms. I used to phoo phoo chronic complainers myself. But nowadays I listen carefully and the other person usually has a real problem.

This trail isn't hard to solve since the out folder will have copies of the emails sent.
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--
.
"Klm" < snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news: snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com...
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This is kind of off-the-wall, but could you tether yourself to something in the kitchen so that you can't just walk out... and maybe it would remind you to turn off the stove?
I learned this technique from trying to house train a puppy... I kept forgetting to take him out frequently enough and this forced me to keep my eye on him. :-)
Thanks, Dare
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wrote:

The problem I had posted is a far more serious societal issue than most people realise. I am sure all of you have come across headlines on the aging baby boomers (born 1946 ~ 1966) who are just coming into retirement and will live for at least another 20 to 30 years in varous degrees of good health or otherwise.
There is a recent article in the FORTUNE Magazine on the economic and social consequences of this development, the numbers of which (for the US) I recall are 71 million seniors in the pipeline and a USD41 trillion dollar public accounts deficit that the US has no chance of meeting. Yeah that means you still-got-a-job working stiffs will be stuck with the bills and there will be nothing left when your turn comes to hit the wheelchair. Japan and Italy have already entered this phase of having to care for their elders population because the traditional family support structure is no longer there. In France (a statistically calculated extra) 15,000 seniors died in last summer's heatwave and their bodies were left to rot for days because they had no one to look out for them.
There won't be enough money or resources to take care of tens of millions of seniors starting now and the very lucky one will be those who own homes and continue to live in them. For seniors the unavoidable consequences in living at home are injuries from falls, washroom time and kitchen time.
Until you have someone dear to you who actually has to deal with these issues its easy to laugh at their concerns. Have an elder in your family break a hip and you will at once face having your savings wiped out on top of the task of having to take care of an invalid adult long term.
I haven't given much thought to those who have to depend on the public purse to live on because the subject is too overwhelmingly depressing and beyond my ability to do anything about it. But this is a societal problem that impacts on all of us and is no laughing matter.
One answer to this very real and pressing problem is for propellerheads to come up with technical solutions to let these seniors continue to live independently. A simple thing as a safety cut off for a stove is one of these devices. I am working on a number of other assistive device problems. The best and most affordable solutions should be ones that are derived from common mainstream components.
There are more than enough URL resources for you to read up on your own. But don't laugh and don't sneer at old age because this fate will surely happen to you.
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KLM:
K > This is the second time in as many weeks I have left the pot on a hot K > stove and forgot about it. Its just the smells and a lot of pot K > scrubbing so far. I live alone and this is a dangerous new K > development. My problem is age related. I did not have to deal with K > before as I was less forgetful then. K > K > The advice sought is what safety devices are there out there to K > prevent this kind of problem? K > K > Is there some timer cutoff switch mechanism for the stove? Are there K > loud alarm timers? On alarms it is not that useful if it only sounds
Back to the smoke detector suggestions I believe there is a type which has a 'silencer' ==> when it goes off press the button which will shut the alarm off for a period of time. I think this type of smoke detector would work for you as an after-the-fact alarm: your food would still be burnt (or starting to) but the alarm would be sounding continously (resolved the "went outside for a while" problem), plus could be reset with a simple push of the button.
- barry.martinATthesafebbs.zeppole.com
* I can sum it up in one word: indescribable!
--
RoseReader 2.52 P003186
The Safe BBS Bettendorf, IA 563-359-1971
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On Fri, 20 Feb 2004 02:53:17 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@rime.org (barry martin)

Thinking from the viewpoint of an older habitually forgetful person, I'm not quite there yet but had grown up among many who were, the inherent safety feature MUST be automatic power shut off when left unattended. It should be manually reset. Noise alarms will work most of the time but with age comes detioration of hearing, slowness in realising a danger event and responding, and just plain panic.* It takes only one bad mistake to spell disaster. In the meantime a smoke detector sound alarm will still result in many charred and burnt meals along with the onerous cleanup tasks. This causes the elder to avoid cooking as much as possible.
*(I once visited a seniors' home and the resident said she could not stand living there anymore. Why? Because three to four times in any week someone will burn her/his meal and set off the smoke alarms in her tower block. By law and by the facility's rules everyone has to be evacuated immediately until the 'all clear' is given by the FD. Those hasty evacuations, compounded by the lack of staff to help each and every resident, the stairs to walk down (elevators are not to be used in a fire event) caused her heart to beat profusely . That brought about other acute problems including sweat flushes and wetting one's pants. Imagine having to wait in the open in the meatime. The facility removed the stoves.)
You may not realise it but among many old folk, especially among women and those not technically inclined, the fear of a kitchen fire forces them to be over cautious. Therefore meals don't get prepared as often, don't get cooked properly, they eat less frequently, etc. and everyone else scratches their heads as to why the elder's health is not improving.
There is one more design feature I would like to see on a stove. This is a means to mechanically lift the pot away from the heater element. Often one needs to do this to prevent boiling over, over cooking or just to move the pot out of the way. Old folks may lack the strength to do this safely, another reason for them to avoid cooking nutritious meals.
Anyway public washroom urinals have a proximity sensor powered by 2 AA cells. The sensor mechanically triggers a valve to activate the flush. A possibility here is to use the same electro-mechanical trigger to shut off the power to the stove when the cook moves away. I'll have to play around with one to figure out how it works and if this offers a solution.
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If someone simply starts cooking and wanders away, problems are going to be a great deal more serious than having an automatic pot-lifter. Turn on the water (bath, shower, sink) and wander away? Open the front door and wander away? Answer the phone and wander away? At this point, no mechanical/electrical gadget is going to be the complete answer.
*Many* modern kitchen appliances include timers and cutoffs. A 'slow-cooker/crockpot.' Ovens. Coffeepots and teakettles. If turning on a stove burner keeps resulting in disaster, a carry-around timer (as I mentioned previously) is quite useful. Since I set a frypan of bacon on fire (at age 26), I'm pretty careful about watching fire-prone cooking.
People can do a great deal to cope with failing powers. The ADHD kid next door made me crazy because she wouldn't do *anything* to compensate. For *years* I let her into her house when she'd lost another housekey. A suggestion to wear her key on a chain was rejected as unfashionalble. Or too much trouble. Or something.
If this is, indeed, your own problem, and you're able to notice, comment, and ask about it, it would seem possible to employ some simple safeguards to help out. I mentioned my use of a timer for cooking rice because I *don't* hang around in the kitchen for 20 minutes, but I'm aware that I need to pay attention, and simply glancing at the clock from time to time may fail. So I set the flippin' timer. Not in the kitchen, but taking it where I am.
Seems to me that someone who is capable of cooking (measuring, chopping, prepping, assembling) could also develop some habits for preventing the whole operation from turning into disaster without heroic technological assistance.
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