WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — I want you to take a good look at the Twitter post from the Winston-Salem Fire department. It shows what is left of someone’s stove. It’s charred, but that’s okay when you think of what could have happened.
When firefighters got to this person's house the fire on this stove was out and it’s all because of a safety gadget called Stovetop Firestop. The WSFD had previously installed the Stovetop Firestop in the home and it worked. The small canister has a magnet that attaches to your stove hood.
If a pan on the stove has an open flame it will spark the firestop to release the suppressant inside the canister taking the fire out.
“Some people are concerned it's just going to go off when there's a little bit of smoke, it won't. This fuse will only activate when it comes in direct contact with the flame,” Theresa Knops, Winston-Salem Fire Department Senior Community Educator said.
Winston-Salem Fire has several other examples of these firestops working on their Youtube site. One grease fire melted the knobs off the stove, the clock is toast, but the family and the rest of the house were spared because the firestop worked.
A lot of folks will see this and say, I'll just grab my fire extinguisher. That's an option if you're standing there when it happens, but statistics show that's not how it goes.
“Unattended cooking is actually the number one cause under the cooking fires & we see that most with shift people. They work a second shift they come home, they're hungry, they're tired and they put the food on the stove and then they fall asleep,” said Knops. In 2021, WSFD went on 58 calls due to cooking fires.
Knops also reminds folks that you need a smoke detector in all bedrooms and in living areas. If you don't have detectors, fire departments will give you the detectors and even install them. Contact your main city or county fire department.