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lamp and stove safety

This enquiry has been sent to Practical Action specifically related to a project in Palestine on stove and lamp safety.

We have a number of projects in the occupied Palestinian territory that deal with treating burns victims (for example supporting burns units within hospitals) as well as looking at prevention (education programmes in communities and schools). From our data collection we have discovered that most accidents resulting in burns occur in the home and are as a result of poorly installed and/or unattended cooking and heating facilities.

What has been done to resolve this issue for example through the provision of safe generators or oil lamps etc in countries in the Middle East or elsewhere. We would be very keen to hear about anything you have done on this issue to promote safe cooking and heating facilities. We are keen to focus on the cause of these problems as we see this as an area where significant change can be made towards accident prevention.

In terms of solutions to these issues I have highlighted a couple of ideas but has there been any specific work on stove safety in terms of their design?

There has been some documentation on the benefits of using solar lanterns in place of kerosene or oil lamps in terms of safety and in their health benefits in cutting indoor air pollution.

The other area of work that fits in some ways is cooking with biogas which is a lot easier in some respects at least at the point of use. The disadvantage of this approach is the increase in cost and the maintenance of the bio-digester. There can also be issues with the fuel requirements, especially in more urban areas compared to rural farms.

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If you haven't been in contact the South African Parrafin Safety Association might give links to other sources

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This reminds me of the time I was interested in stoves and built a Lorena Stove in DRC. This is a large wood-fired 3-pot stove made up of bricks and mixed sand and termite soil and maybe vermiculite - they are pretty massive in thermal terms and the heat is higher up so if people fall asleep near the stove and rollover against it they don't get burnt and it certainly cannot fall over!

Other than those mentioned in your posting, factors that spring to mind are fire safety with respect to use inside flammable structures, how many pots need to be heated at once, what sort of fuel is available and so on. What is cooked most often and are there ways to reduce the energy required eg by pre-soaking beans.

The biggest issue as ever is that mix between education and having the local people decide what they want to do and how they want to do it.

Teach them how to solve problems themselves by showing them how they can solve this one and you will have achieved far more than you set out to.

I see you are working in Palestine, as am I at the moment. I haven't been involved in stoves here other than through detailing non food item lists including gas stoves and with respect to fire safety in transitional shelter design.

We retain concerns about the risk of fire and burns and your posting has encouraged me to dig out some safety documentation with respect to gas stoves that we should include in NFI kits.

I encourage you to contact the Shelter & NFI Cluster Palestine through the contacts at so you can encourage the cluster to promote safety through the distributions of Household NFI kits and to discuss your ideas more.

All the best with your work.

Steve Barker

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For safe light sources, you may want to look at the design for kerosene lamps from Sri Lanka or these vegetable oil safe candles . They are both very effective in preventing fires due to accidental tipping. Solar lanterns are also an interesting option, but their weak spot is rain.

But as you mentioned the main causes were cooking and heating stoves, here are some interesting online libraries for improved stoves designs. Unfortunately, it seems most attention is goven to indoor air pollution and fuel efficiency, so there is little on stove safety.

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2014-12-19 09:45:51 -0500
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Last updated:
Dec 21 '14