Field-based safety guidelines for solid fuel household cookstoves in developing countries

Nathan Johnson, Kenneth M. Bryden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The burning of solid fuels for cooking creates significant adverse health, social, and economic consequences for more than three billion people worldwide. Recognizing this issue, many groups have worked to develop improved stoves that increase fuel efficiency, decrease fuel use, and reduce particulate emissions. Less attention has been given to developing a standardized process for rating cookstove safety and reducing cookstove hazards. This paper identifies common cooking hazards and seeks to reduce cooking injuries by proposing ten field-based safety guidelines for solid fuel stoves. Each guideline describes an underlying safety principle and is accompanied by a test protocol and a metric to rate stove safety. This incremental rating system enables stove designers, donors, and consumers to track and promote stepwise safety improvements. The protocols use low-cost equipment to allow the many manufacturers of handcrafted cookstoves to assess safety without using sophisticated testing facilities and expensive equipment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-66
Number of pages11
JournalEnergy for Sustainable Development
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Cooking hazard
  • Cooking safety
  • Developing world
  • Safety protocol
  • Solid fuel cookstove

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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