WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- So far in 2017, the Winston-Salem Fire Department has responded to 55 cooking fires. But, for years, their firefighters have been telling the public there’s a cheap – and sometimes free – way to prevent them. In the last week, we’ve seen their solution ring true.
On April 6, a grease fire was extinguished in an apartment on Gillcrest Drive by a StoveTop FireStop device.
“The things had worked so good that, I’m telling you, I didn’t even smell the smoke or anything,” said Joanne Kirkland, who lives in the apartment below the one where the fire was suppressed.
Kirkland tells FOX8 that the devices were already installed in her apartment when she moved in and they’re in place in the neighboring apartments as well.
“So, we were like, ‘OK, works for me,’” she recalled.
The fire suppressors are designed to attach beneath the stove’s hood, or microwave above. If there is a stovetop fire, the devices detects it and releases chemicals which extinguish the fire before it spreads.
“I’m glad because I was [down] under her,” Kirkland said.
The fire department has been visiting areas where kitchen fires are common, installing the fire suppressors in peoples’ homes for free. The Housing Authority of Winston-Salem has also been installing them in some of their properties, too.
This week, those measures have proven crucial.
On May 31, a StoveTop FireStop canister extinguished a cooking fire at an apartment on Bethabara Pointe Circle. On Saturday, a stovetop fire suppressor successfully stopped a kitchen fire at the Sunrise Towers on North Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, and later that night, a kitchen fire was suppressed at the Healy Towers, on Healy Drive.
The fire department says the Winston-Salem stove top fire suppression program will provide free devices for qualified residents in an effort to reduce cooking fire disasters in Winston-Salem. Supplies, which are purchased through donated funds, are limited and may not always be available for everyone who meets the below requirements:
- Elderly and low income, or handicapped.
- Cook regularly on stove top for most meals.
- Live in an area where kitchen fires are prominent.
- You will also need a photo ID and an electric bill or water bill in the resident’s name.
To apply for a free device, contact the Fire Department’s Senior Community Educator at 773-7965.