Navigation Links
Human factors researcher pushes for safer gas fireplaces

With the increase in popularity of glass-fronted or "direct vent" gas fireplaces has come an alarming increase in the number of small children who have been seriously burned by touching the hot glass. Until very recently, U.S. law allowed the glass to reach the scorching temperature of 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260˚ C). Human factors/ergonomics researcher Carol Pollack-Nelson, in her upcoming Ergonomics in Design article, "The Burn Hazard Presented by Gas Fireplace Glass," describes how she called on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to require manufacturers to make glass-fronted gas fireplaces safer.

In the article, Pollack-Nelson documents a number of factors that, in combination, have likely contributed to an estimated 1,754 burns among small children between 1999 and 2009: (a) They are attracted by fire; (b) direct vent fireplaces are in easy reach of toddlers, who are unsteady on their feet; (c) few units come with a barrier to prevent touching the glass; and (d) consumers have not been sufficiently warned that the glass can reach such high heat or that it retains heat long after the unit has been turned off.

"The glass front of a gas fireplace may seem like a barrier to parents but in fact the glass is hot enough to cause severe burns with only momentary contact," said Pollack-Nelson. "With a log fireplace, there is no glass front, so parents may be more vigilant when a fire is going."

A number of voluntary standards address the burn risk, but manufacturers of gas fireplaces have never been required to incorporate safety features into their designs to protect children and other consumers from the excessively hot glass fronts. Although a few safety-conscious manufacturers already include an integrated mesh screen that prevents access to the glass, most do not.

Pollack-Nelson reached out to the industry's voluntary standards organization and requested that action be taken to revise the standard to require protection against the hazard. When no action was taken one year later, she petitioned the CPSC for a mandatory rule. After the Commission docketed the petition, industry began to take action. As of January 2012, the industry began to revise the voluntary standard, laying out a plan that requires a physical barrier for all gas fireplaces that are installed less than 4 feet above the floor, as well as plans to undertake a consumer awareness campaign.


Contact: Lois Smith
Human Factors and Ergonomics Society

Related medicine news :

1. New drug prevents spread of human prostate cancer cells
2. Scientists solving the mystery of human consciousness
3. First targeted nanomedicine to enter human clinical studies
4. Edith Mitchell, M.D., FACP, named 2012 recipient of ASCO Humanitarian Award
5. Novel compound demonstrates anti-leukemic effect in zebrafish, shows promise for human treatment
6. 2 genetic deletions in human genome linked to the development of aggressive prostate cancer
7. IBN discovers human neural stem cells with tumor targeting ability
8. RANK protein promotes the initiation, progression and metastasis of human breast cancer
9. CNIO researchers describe new functions of cohesin relevant for human disease
10. New Clues to the Evolution of the Human Brain
11. Humanist funerals
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... According to an article ... American Dental Association meeting in Washington D.C. revolved around the fact that proper dental ... health. The talk stressed the link between periodontal disease (more commonly referred to as ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... safe and convenient way to dispense prescription medications at home, so he invented ... way to monitor and dispense prescription medications. In doing so, it could help ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... MPWH, the No.1 Herpes-only dating community in the world, revealed ... 1-1 ). More than 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 – or ... to WHO's first global estimates of HSV-1 infection . , "The data shocks us ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... innovative online platform for mental health and wellness consultation, has collaborated with a ... will bridge the knowledge gap experienced by parents and bring advice from parenting ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Indosoft Inc., developer and distributor of the ... LTS (Long Term Support) into its Q-Suite 5.10 product line. , Making the ... a version of Asterisk that will receive not only security fixes, but feature ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/29/2015)... 2015  The GE Health Cloud 1 was unveiled ... North America (RSNA) meeting in ... the new cloud ecosystem and its applications will connect radiologists ... and multidisciplinary teams – both inside and outside the hospital ... of GE. "As the digital industrial leader, we are betting ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... 29, 2015   National Decision Support Company (NDSC) ... base, including notable statewide implementations. As a result, ... ACR Select, more than 1 million times per ... ACR Select provides real-time feedback on the most ... has been implemented at over 100 healthcare systems ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... 27, 2015 --> ... go online. The potential to save costs, improve treatment ... far from fully exploited as yet. Here, particular emphasis ... either via mobile tablet or directly at the patients, ... ) -->      (Photo: ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: