Lexington firefighters install more than 100 devices to prevent cooking fires

tcrumbie@herald-leader.comJune 4, 2014 

The Lexington fire department finished installing more than 100 devices Wednesday that will help prevent cooking fires.

Using a federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant, the fire department purchased and installed StoveTop FireStop canisters that attach to the hood of a stove using a magnet. There is a wick at the bottom of the container. If a fire begins during cooking, it will ignite the wick, causing the canister to open and release a material similar to that found in fire extinguishers, said Lt. Keith Smith of the Lexington fire department.

The department installed about 115 of the devices at the Connie Griffith/Ballard Towers, 650 Tower Plaza, on Wednesday morning after installing about 70 at Main Street Baptist Manor, 428 Darby Creek Road, on Tuesday. Smith said various factors influenced why the department bought the devices, including property loss and the frequency of kitchen fires in Fayette County.

In addition to the fire suppression device, the residents received a jar opener. The jar opener was just a bonus gift, Smith said.

Carolyn Garner of the Lexington Housing Authority, said she wished every unit in Ballard Towers could have the extinguiser device because occasionally a smoke alarm accidentally goes off.

"Nothing has been really severe, thank God, so far," Garner said.

Tom Smith of the Lexington Housing Authority, said the organization selected the apartment units that received the devices based on which residents were the oldest or most likely to cook.

Nancy Adams, a resident of Ballard Towers, said she cooks a lot and the device is a good safety measure.

"If it works and everything, it's a great idea," Adams said. "Because there is a lot of casualties like that."

Trey Crumbie: (859) 231-1687. Twitter: @TreyCrumbieHL

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