HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — One in three Virginia house fires start with someone cooking in the kitchen, according to Henrico Fire spokesman Lt. Danny Rosenbaum. The numbers are even higher in Henrico with 45 percent of the county’s structure fires last years starting in the kitchen. Henrico firefighters are now trying to get the word out about a fire extinguisher that hangs over stoves and puts out those all-too-common fires.
“The StoveTop FireStop is an automatic fire suppression product that hangs above the burners of your stove. The device is activated by flames and can help control a fire in a pot or pan on the stovetop,” Rosenbaum said. “Although the Stovetop Firestop System has been around for years, many people don’t know it exists.”
Rosenbaum said the system recently put out a fire that started in the kitchen of an apartment on Sprenkle Lane in Henrico’s West End.
“When they arrived they found that in fact there had been a fire, but it had been put out by a single over the stove fire extinguisher,” Rosenbaum said. “Cooking fires are the leading cause of fires in [homes and apartments]. Of these fires, unattended cooking remains the leading cause.”
Rosenbaum said the fire department was working with area apartment complexes to encourage stovetop fire extinguisher installation. The StoveTop FireStop is available online and costs about $60.