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Inirv's smart stove knobs might prevent your next kitchen mishap, or even a fire

Cooking equipment is the most common cause of house fires in the United States, so smart appliance manufacturers obviously build features in focusing on kitchen safety. But those smart stovetops and ovens can cost quite a bit, and your current “dumb” stove might work just fine.

You won’t need to buy a whole new stove much longer, though. Smart home safety startup Inirv is launching the React at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Thursday, which will give your stove both a bit of smarts a host of safety features to prevent accidental fires. A Kickstarter is also live, which was just about half funded as of midday Thursday.

The system consists of a sensor that is placed on the ceiling, and a set of four knob-like devices that replace the current knobs on your stove, or you can reattach them on top of the new ones. The ceiling sensor is much like a fire detector, sensing gas and smoke, but it also senses motion as well. If all is normal, your knobs will glow blue; if something goes wrong, they turn red.

If it believes the stove has been on for too long and you’re not there, it turns it off automatically for you. The same happens in the event it detects high levels of gas or smoke. That’s something most fully connected ranges can’t do on their own, and it makes the estimated $299 retail price a little easier to swallow.

As a side benefit, these safety features also allow you to control the stove remotely through React’s app. The special knobs should be able to fit on just about any conventional stove, the company says, and can be easily removed to recharge them (all run on internal battery power).

One thing we’re a little disappointed about is the fact it has no oven controls: No doubt most of us can remember keeping the oven on by accident, too — and a lot of fires start there. That’s one area that Inirv needs to focus on in the future, as it seems somewhat of an oversight.

If you act quick enough, there are still some $199 pledge levels left which will get your hands on one of these devices in December. That’s a long ways off, unless you want to fork over $999 to become a beta tester and get them in April. Still, it’s a neat idea and cheaper than buying a whole new range.