Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does CookStop work with gas stoves?
A: Not at this time.
Q: How does CookStop work?
A: CookStop uses a motion sensor to monitor movement in the cooking area. The absence of motion (when the person cooking leaves the kitchen) starts a countdown called AUTO time. AUTO time shuts off power to the range if no one returns. It is set at the factory for 5 minutes, but it can be programmed (like many other settings) by using the security key.
Q: What if I want to bake bread in the oven, or simmer something for an extended period? I don't want to come back into the kitchen every 5 minutes.
A: A function called HOLD can be enabled to allow an extended time away from the range during baking or cooking. HOLD time can be set to any increment of minutes. However, it is highly recommended that this time not exceed 30 minutes for safety purposes. Once the HOLD time expires, CookStop automatically reverts to the programmed AUTO time. Take a look at our Common Setup Tasks for directions on how to program both HOLD and AUTO time on our stove burner safety device.
Q: Once the settings are configured, can my mother/father/tenant/child change them back?
A: CookStop was designed so that settings can be locked and tamper-proof. Settings are made using the secure key and cannot be altered without the key itself. A situation in which a locked setting would be used is when an older adult is having trouble remembering to turn the stove off. Alternatively, CookStop can be programmed so that the user can make changes to certain settings without the key but not to all of the settings. This is useful if a user needs to control the HOLD time while cooking.
Q: I don't want to be limited to the factory default of only having 5 minutes away from the range while cooking.
A: CookStop has an AUTO time feature that can be increased or decreased. However, it is strongly recommended not to set AUTO time for longer than 8 or 10 minutes for safety purposes. In fact, many caregivers choose to reduce the time away from the stove to between 1 and 3 minutes.
Warning: If someone is cooking with oil or grease, and it is very hot or near the flashpoint — a fire can start within seconds. The only way to prevent oil fires is by being in attendance and paying attention throughout the entire cooking process.
Q: Can the range burners and the oven be controlled separately?
A: No. Currently, CookStop controls the burners and oven on the same timer.
Q: Is CookStop easy to install?
A: Yes, the two most common kits are plug installations. Out of the box, CookStop has the main settings programmed, and no additional configuration is needed.
Q: Do I need an electrician?
A: Installing CookStop does not require an electrician for the plug-in kits, which are the most common kits. These kits are used with most slide-in ranges. CookStop also supports installations with built-in appliances, such as separate cooktops and an oven. For these different appliances, CookStop should be installed by an electrician or a trained appliance installer.
Q: What is the size of the box that goes behind the stove?
A: The plug power unit is approximately 4.5" x 5.5" x 2.5" and will plug directly into the 220 Volt wall outlet behind the range. The range's electric cable plugs into the front of this unit. The plug power unit generally fits into the recess at the back of the stove when the stove is pushed back to the wall during installation. It is frequently acceptable to have an inch or 2 of space between the stove and the wall. However, if the wall outlet is installed high on the wall, this may prevent the stove from getting close enough to the wall. In this case, it may either warrant moving the outlet lower (generally an electrician's job) or using an alternative CookStop power unit, such as a direct wire or corded power unit.
Q: Are there batteries?
A: CookStop does not use batteries. If there is a power outage, your programmed settings are restored with the power. The clock will hold the time and date for approximately 5 days with no power to the unit. See our Common Setup Tasks for setting the time and date.
Q: I am concerned that my tenants will resist management putting any limitations whatsoever on their cooking activity.
A: We understand. It is important to remember that an unattended cooking accident is the number one cause of home fires. CookStop was developed for the safety of your loved ones, your neighbors, and your tenants. We find several strategies useful in determining when to install CookStop:
- There are loved ones or tenants who have incidences while cooking (near-fires, fires, or smoke-outs), and they need CookStop now. Installing CookStop can prevent the need to relocate them to a higher and more expensive level of care.
- Some multi-property owners have CookStop installed when tenants move out, and it is then in place when the new tenant moves in.
- Mindful of the serious danger of unattended cooking fires, many organizations require that all tenants have CookStop installed — just as they do smoke detectors, for example.
- Having recently had a serious fire incident, organizations wish to prevent its reoccurrence and reassure worried tenants. Besides the potential loss of life and property, a fire will cause deep anxiety among neighboring residents, especially the elderly. CookStop is not a luxury timer — it is a fire safety device. Many see that helping save lives and property outweighs a small level of inconvenience while people get accustomed to its presence.
Q: We have installed hood suppression systems/smoke alarms/sprinklers in all of our kitchens. Why do we need CookStop too?
A: First, it is excellent that you have these already in place. The difference between our system and others is that CookStop is a proactive system that can prevent unattended fires from starting in the first place. Reactive systems are designed to respond only after a potentially dangerous event (smoke or flames) is already underway. Our recommendation would be to use both types of systems, which provide security benefits from multiple levels of protection. Safety devices like smoke alarms, sprinklers, and fire extinguishers are all useful in preventing damage to property and life.
Q: What kind of cleaning or maintenance is required to keep CookStop operating correctly?
A: Virtually no maintenance is required for CookStop other than perhaps wiping it occasionally with a soft damp cloth, and verifying that the motion dectector activates on motion, then goes out with no motion (blue light on system). If power is absent for more than one week (as in storing the unit before installation), the clock may need to be reset using the secure key that's provided.