Kitchen fires account for an average of 172,000 home fires every year. That makes them the No. 1 cause of home fires and breaks down to about 471 kitchen fires every day in the U.S., which are responsible for a reported 530 civilian deaths, 5,270 fire injuries and some $1.1 billion in property damage every year.
Learning how to implement stovetop fire prevention and getting the right tools to manage a kitchen fire can save not just money and property, it can also save lives.
StoveTop FireStop is designed to suppress kitchen fires without the need for any human intervention. When a home fire begins, it’s common for people to panic and forget what they need to do. With the StoveTop FireStop fire suppression system, they don’t have to do anything except step away from the fire while it is being suppressed.
The Reality of Stovetop Fires
Stovetop fires happen for a number of common reasons. A mother may leave the stove unattended “just for a minute” while checking on her children; a teenager may get distracted by his phone and forget he’s turned on the burner under a pan filled with grease. Or someone simply might make a mistake, such as using too much oil, turning the temperature on the stove up too high, or forget that the burner is on and leave the room. Whatever the cause, the result is the same: A fire that can quickly get out of control and leave immense destruction.
It might surprise you to learn that gas stoves, which have an open flame, are responsible for fewer kitchen fires than electric ranges. The National Fire Prevention Association reports that not only do homes with electric ranges have a higher risk of cooking-related fires, but the amount of loss associated with those fires is greater as well.
For people living in group settings like apartment buildings or assisted living facilities, cooking fires can be even more dangerous because they can affect so many people. If not detected in time, they can move quickly throughout the building and cause extreme damage as well as further injury and death. (In 2016 alone, there were 95,000 apartment building fires, which resulted in 325 deaths and 3,375 injuries.)
Even if an apartment is equipped with a fire extinguisher, it’s not uncommon for occupants to panic during a fire and forget that they have one — or where it’s located. Or they might not know how to use it properly. Not knowing how to use a fire extinguisher, or using the wrong fire extinguisher for the job, can only complicate the situation.
For seniors living in an apartment or even an assisted living environment, the problem with fire extinguishers is that residents often don’t have the strength or dexterity to work the equipment. As people get older, their risk of injury or death from a home fire increases. In fact, people who are 65 and older are twice as likely to be killed or injured in a home fire.
Finding the right solution means being able to anticipate the mistakes that will inevitably be made at some point in the kitchen. It requires being able to stop the fire before it has a chance to spread and to do it in a way that is safe for everyone.
Learning How StoveTop FireStop Works
While there are many products designed to alert people when they have a kitchen fire, the bigger problem is finding a way to stop the fire before it becomes a threat. The unique technology of StoveTop FireStop will suppress stovetop fires safely before they can cause costly damage. That’s important, since people often do the wrong thing when a kitchen fire occurs, such as putting a wet towel over the flaming grease — which is actually the worst possible solution.
StoveTop FireStop eliminates the danger quickly and safely. Here’s how:
- The StoveTop FireStop canister is mounted either on the underside of the microwave or inside the range hood. It uses magnets to stay in place but can be mounted with a special kit if the upper surface isn’t made of metal. (The exception to this is the Microhood, which uses brackets to attach to the back wall of your kitchen, directly below the microwave oven.)
- If the occupant uses the original fuse-based Microhood, Rangehood, Plus or Plus LC units, the canister will be activated when the flame makes direct, sustained contact with the fuse located at the bottom of the canister.
- Once the StoveTop FireStop fuse is activated, the can will pop open, dropping a fine dry powder to be gravity-fed over the flames and suppress the fire. At the time it deploys, it will make a loud “pop” sound, which is intended to alert occupants that it has been activated.
- After the device has been deployed and it is safe to return, the occupant should turn off the stove to keep the fire from re-igniting.
Suppressing Fires Even When You’re Not There
As an example of how this works in real life, let’s say that you’re heating oil to fry some eggs. While the oil is heating, you go check on something in the other room — “just for a second” — but it takes longer than you thought it would. During the time you’re out of the room, the oil begins to smoke and then bursts into flames.
That’s when timing is everything; a kitchen fire can quickly get out of control and your stove may be engulfed in flames by the time you return. That’s when StoveTop FireStop can help; as soon as the fuse is activated and the canister opens, it will begin to suppress the fire.
Because it doesn’t depend on human operation (or even the presence of humans) to work, this automatic solution is a powerful way to ensure greater safety in the kitchen.
The one-time use canisters also have a “Replace By” date that can be found on the unit so users will always know that the product is still effective. Each unit has a six-year effective life, and should be removed or replaced before the date is exceeded. To dispose of the canister, you can either return it to StoveTop FireStop using its specific packaging instructions, or follow the guidelines to dispose of it yourself.
The Importance of Kitchen Fire Safety
Since unattended cooking equipment is the leading cause of cooking fires and deaths, accounting for 32% of these fires, it makes sense to have a solution that can handle kitchen fires quickly and effectively, even when there’s no one around to notice them. StoveTop FireStop can help provide greater safety and also supply the peace of mind that goes with knowing that the stove is being monitored for fires around the clock.