Stovetop fire extinguished Easter Sunday thanks to suppression device

You never know what could save your life, but a Tuscaloosa woman discovered an inexpensive product did the trick Easter Sunday when a fire broke out inside her apartment.

It started like many house fires, said Tuscaloosa Fire Marshal Patrick Stines.

“Unattended cooking is overwhelmingly the No. 1 reason that we have fires,” he said.

Multiple Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue engines responded to the fire at Running Brook Apartments, near the Tuscaloosa Driver’s License Office on Skyland Boulevard.

But when firefighters arrive, the fire was already out thanks to a stovetop fire suppression device known as a Stovetop Firestop.

“It’s a small canister that you place under your range hood that has a small fuse that is filled with a non-toxic suppression powder,” Stines said. “When it sustains direct flame contact for a long period of time, the fuse lights and it puts out the fire.”

These fire stop devices aren’t new, but people are far more likely to have an at-home fire extinguisher than an over-the-stove device like this.

Stines said they cost about $100 and can be purchased from big-box or online retailers, or online from the maker right here. A two-pack of the company’s Rangehood product is $56.95, but other devices available cost more.

They’re easy to install, and well worth the peace of mind, Stines said.

“In this instance had the person have not had this device, the fire would have progressed and would have damaged her belongings and maybe the entire building,” Stines said. “We were grateful they have invested in this device. We always encourage those housing developments that do not have sprinkler protection to invest in these devices. It is one of the least expensive devices you can purchase.”

Another must-have for at-home fire safety is a fire extinguisher, which are also available at big-box retail stores, hardware stores and online.

Stines said if you’re in the Tuscaloosa area and need help installing one of these devices, you can call Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue at 205-248-5420.

If you’re outside the Tuscaloosa area, contact your local fire department.

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