SANDSTON, Va. (WRIC) — Local officials say cooking fires are the number one cause of residential structural fires, with unattended cooking cited as the leading cause of all cooking fires. Richmond Fire officials say using the StoveTop FireStop automatic fire suppressors may save homes and possibly lives as folks ramp up their cooking during the holiday season.
It’s a small device with a magnetic tip that adheres to stove range hoods. Once a fire grows out of control, the small canister automatically delivers fire suppressing powder to the front and back burners. Initially, there is a loud pop noise to alert residents of its activation and then the powder extinguishes the flame.
“It is very simple, for each it covers two burners so if you have four burners you have to get two canisters,” said Lieutenant Chris Armstrong with the Richmond Fire Department.
Two years ago the Richmond Fire Department received a grant for $50,000 and the department was able to purchase more than 1,000 devices. The department then teamed up with the Richmond Redevelopment Housing Authority and purchased an additional 2,500 devices to install in senior citizens’ homes.
“Sometimes people just walk away, they leave the burner on, they fall asleep, or they just forget they’re cooking something. As a result fire starts and that could be very costly incident not only monetary but also in life, people may not be able to get out the house if their home or apartment catches on fire,” said Armstrong.
You can fire these devices on sale online and in some neighborhood hardware stores ranging in price from $30–$40.
Watch the full report above to see other holiday cooking tips from the Richmond Fire Department.