Reduce Kitchen Stovetop Fire Risk

While I have not experienced an extreme emergency in the 10+ years I have been managing properties (knock on wood), the possibility and worry is constantly on my mind.

Over the last couple weeks as I have began preparing an emergency preparedness plan for our office and each building we manage, as well as information for our tenants on what to do in an emergency. If you have not yet received information from me on this program, you will shortly, as I will need your input to make sure each building’s emergency plan is complete.

Since I started working on this project, my concerns about the safety of your buildings and tenants have been even more top of mind.

Obviously, the best option is always to circumvent the emergency in the first place. This isn’t possible with such events as earthquakes and floods, so the best we can do is protect our investments as much as possible with proper anchoring and bracing. However, when it comes to human error causing the destruction, how we prevent it and how we act is more in our control.

Below is an article that the SFAA recently ran on a new product called StoveTop FireStop and I encourage all my clients to install them in each of their units. It is a great, inexpensive way to stop stovetop fires quickly, and can possibly save you money on your insurance premiums. State Farm Insurance does not currently offer premium discounts when you install this product. However, my agent was forwarding the product’s information to their underwriting team to see if they would in the future.

If you would like Lingsch Realty’s help in installing these devices, please let me know. The more clients I have sign up for the installation, the better pricing I can get when I buy the devices in bulk.

I even encourage my clients to install them in their own homes.


Natalie Drees


SF Apartment Magazine, August 2012

It’s every apartment owner’s nightmare: a resident steps away from something cooking on the stove-just for a second-flames ignite and fire spreads. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of kitchen fires, according to the National Fire Protection Administration, and cooking fires account for 42% of home and apartment fires. As part of a 2011 study, NFPA found that between 2005 and 2009, kitchen fires accounted for an average of 155, 400 home and apartment fires each year, resulting in an average of 390 deaths, 4,800 injuries and $771 million in direct property damage annually.

Luckily, apartment owners and managers can slash these startling statistics dramatically by installing special fire suppression technology that can extinguish stove top fires before they have a chance to spread. In some cases, insurance companies-who want to reduce fire risk as much as any apartment owner or manager-will even offer special incentives to policy holders who implement these lifesaving technologies.

Called StoveTop FireStop, these small canister devices mount under the vent hood, microwave hood or cabinetry above a stovetop and are easy to install as a do-it-yourself project. When flames touch the canister, StoveTop FireStop pops open to release a fire-suppressing material, which then smothers the flames.

Multifamily building owners and operators who install the StoveTop FireStop product report as much as a 99% reduction in average fires claim costs, according to insurance industry information collected by StoveTop FireStop producer Williams-Pyro. That translates into thousands of dollars saved each year, to say nothing of countless injuries avoided and lives spared. In fact, StoveTop FireStop has proven so successful that communities in states around the country and enacted ordinances mandating its installation and use in multifamily dwellings.

Some insurance companies are making it even easier and more affordable for owners and managers of multifamily buildings to protect their residents and properties from fire and other dangers. For example, some regional and national carriers offer premium discounts on safety devices that mitigate risk.

Like it or not, apartment units that include stovetops bring with them the risk of cooking fires. As building owners and managers, it is important to urge common-sense practices among residents to help reduce that risk, such as not leaving cooking unattended, keeping towels and potholders away from burners, and regularly cleaning cooking surfaces to avoid grease build-up. But why stop there when a simple device can do even more to prevent the number one cause of home and apartment fires? And if your insurance carrier offers a premium discount for doing so, even better.

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