Units - July 2011 - (Page 32)
Beat the Heat With Stovetop Fire Suppressors
A CANISTER THE SIZE of a tuna can could be the difference between a little smoke damage and a $100,000 fire claim. The product—known as an automatic stovetop fire suppressor—is designed to put out stovetop fires caused by unattended cooking, which is the leading cause of multifamily housing fires (67.5 percent), according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Attached magnetically to the range hood of a stove, the fire suppressor automatically pops open when a flame touches the bottom of the canister, releasing sodium bicarbonate powder that immediately extinguishes the flames. Independent Rental Owner (IRO) Brent Sobol has used stovetop fire suppressors since 2000 and says he hasn’t had a fire claim since. “I’ve never had a stovetop fire suppressor that didn’t put out a fire,” says Sobol, Owner of Happy Home Communities, with 1,100 apartments in Atlanta. “I’m not saying you won’t have some smoke damage, but the entire kitchen or apartment won’t be destroyed either. It’s an amazing product for addressing unattended cooking fires.” IRO Frank Barefield agrees. “We use fire suppressors in all 8,000 units and I can’t tell you how many fires they’ve stopped,” says Barefield, President of Abbey Residential in Birmingham, Ala. “I’ve talked to so many firefighters who said that regular fire extinguishers are such a waste because the majority of fires happen in the kitchen when no one is in the room, and the resident can never find the extinguisher when they need it. I think the stovetop suppressors should be mandated.” The canisters take less than one minute to install, with one attached to the left side of the range hood and a second one on the right. A pair of canisters for each range hood costs less than $50. The canisters have a five-year life span, according to the maker. The product is available at maintenance supply stores, as well as on the manufacturer’s website. The product, which has been on the market for 35 years, could save owners a considerable amount of money and headaches, Sobol says. “Older apartments get hit for high insurance premiums because we weren’t built with sprinklers,” he says. “This device—which most owners don’t know about— will lower our claims significantly. I think it only makes sense to retrofit every unit you own with them. You’ll stop fires before they can spread and do more damage.” – NAA’s Lauren Boston
Conference Call for IROs— 2:30 p.m. ET Aug. 17
he next “Problem Solving” conference call for Independent Rental Owners (IROs) will be Wednesday, Aug. 17, from 2:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. ET. Contact NAA’s David Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org for details on the call, which included more than 40 owners when it was last held in April. NAA IRO Committee Chair Frank Barefield will moderate the interactive call, which will include Web conferencing. The call will discuss strategy for dealing with timely apartment management issues. Additionally, to stay informed or ask other IROs for their opinions throughout the year, you are invited to join the IRO Community and Forum online at http://community.naahq.org. Thank you to sponsors CallSource and Rent.com.
The stovetop fire suppressors take less than one minute to install, with one attached to the left side of the range hood and a second one on the right.
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