NEW YORK CITY (September 24, 2015) – Chances are you use a gas cooktop in your kitchen on a daily basis. Whether it’s cooking a family meal or boiling water for tea, the gas cooktop has become so ingrained in everyday life that the safety measures surrounding simple tasks are easily disregarded or overlooked. Parents and caretakers should be more aware of the hazards that come with operating gas-powered home appliances, as burns from them are alarmingly common. For a variety of reasons– ranging from the severity of the injury to a guilty conscience by someone who feels responsible– gas cooktop-related burns often go unreported to physicians and hospitals. These accidents can and do happen every day, and especially to children and seniors when their caretakers are preoccupied with other responsibilities.
“It only takes one second at 167 degrees Fahrenheit for a contact burn, and less time for both children and the elderly who have similar delayed-reaction issues,” states inventor and patent holder, William S. Lerner. “Many caregivers feel guilty when a loved one experiences these burns, but we are now learning these horrendous events can stem from the dangers present in the appliances themselves. Grates on cooktops stay dangerously hot after use, but unlike glass/ceramic cooktops, no current make or model of gas cooktop offers any visual indication of lingering, hazardous heat placed in the center of the danger zone.”
William S. Lerner is a known expert on pediatric burn prevention, and the mastermind of residual heat indicator technology for gas-powered cooktops and fireplaces. Lerner’s invention helps consumers prevent burns caused by the lingering heat of gas-powered appliances. Manufacturers can easily implement light guide technology to create a “warning light” (residual heat indicator) at the center of each burner area, alerting the user when a surface is still hot. This small change in a product’s design creates an unmistakable warning, and can prevent many from placing a body part on or near a dangerously hot surface. Lerner’s technology is proven, vetted and readily available to all gas cooktop manufacturers. His pioneering work in sensing and displays is not limited to gas cooktops and fireplaces. But he did choose to start in the consumer sector, where eleven million gas fireplaces are being used, and over three million gas ranges and eight million outdoor gas grills are sold every year. Since the early 1900s when gas stoves first became popular in the US, no effective residual heat technologies have been implemented. Lerner’s residual heat sensing technologies have been internationally acknowledged by Dr. Yogendra Kumar Mishra who said, “Our pioneering work from Kiel University, combined with display technology from William S. Lerner, offers a comprehensive package for nanomaterials in sensing, detection, and others applications.''
“The medical treatment of hand burns is time intensive, costly, and painful and often requires long term therapy of the hand,” stated Dr. Steven Moulton, Director of Burn and Trauma programs at The Children’s Hospital Colorado. “The physical and emotional pain and trauma these children experience from the initial injury, the skin grafting which can be required and the serial casting necessary to obtain best possible outcome not only affects the child but the entire family.”
Protecting children and the elderly from unaddressed hazards in the home should be a top priority. It is alarming that there is scientific evidence proving the severity and commonality of cooktop-related burns, however manufacturers have yet to take steps that could prevent thousands of burn accidents from occurring each year. It is up to consumers to voice their concern, and demand an industry-wide change: gas cooktops made safer with residual heat indicators.
“Burn prevention is a topic that is very rarely spoken about– I am here to change that. My technology enables a simple fix to a problem that will continue to affect our loved ones, so long as there are gas cooktops,” says Lerner. “This issue will remain ignored until we shine a very bright and public light on it, and I’m not one to sit like a spectator when people are repeatedly suffering preventable injuries. Let’s motivate gas-powered appliance manufacturers to take a proactive step that ensures safer homes and families everywhere.”