One barrier to independent living for many older people and for the disabled is the potential for unattended cooking fires, the leading cause of kitchen fires in the US. Automated sensors have been developed but are not well known at all and are often based on timers which assumes that someone has the presence of mind to set it every time (Cookstop, HomeSense and StoveGuard.) The Fire Avert picks up the noise of a smoke alarm initiated by the burning food or heat, delays for three minutes, then shuts off the power to the electric stove (only). It was developed by a Provo, Utah firefighter in conjunction with Brigham Young University engineering graduate students Michael Sanders and Zack Bomsta. They sought to raise $30,000 on Indiegogo (under original name Active Alarm) but like most, did not meet its goal in the time alloted and is returning funds raised. It is still scheduled for a Spring 2013 intro and is worth watching for home and independent living settings. Fire Avert guards your home against fire (GizMag)
Cooking is indeed one of the essential daily living activities to support independent living within the home. Domestic kitchen fires are the second most common source of injury and death after smoking related fires.
I am the UK representative for a manufacturer who have produced a cooker top safety system that alerts to the potential of a cooker top fire and if no action is taken after 1 minute will switch the cooker supply off. In addition it will respond to audible alerts from other detectors and switch the cooker supply off. It also has an alarm output for a Telecare transmitter to allow it to communicate with a lifeline telephone and so alert a monitoring centre if required.
We are currently looking for National Distributors who would actively promote the product. Interested parties can contact me.