SFD program to help residents reduce risk of serious stovetop fires

by beth on October 16, 2015

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Last week, the Community Advocate ran a story on a safety program the Southborough Fire Department began at Colonial Gardens. Using grant funds, firefighters have begun installing safety devices in some of the units.

In addition to sharing the news, I wanted to find out how readers could take advantage of the program for themselves. (It turns out that the devices may be handy for more than just seniors.)

If you weren’t aware, Colonial Gardens condos are affordable housing units resided in largely by senior residents. CA wrote:

According to the National Fire Protection Association, people age 65 and over are twice as likely to be killed or injured by fires compared to the population at large.

But thanks to a grant from the state’s Senior SAFE program, residents at the Colonial Gardens complex in Southborough now have a stovetop device installed in their kitchens that will help in case a fire breaks out on their stoves.

On Oct. 5, a team of Southborough firefighters, led by Lt. Chris Dano, installed the devices, called Stovetop Firestops, in each apartment at the complex. . .

If a fire breaks out, the dry chemicals are released onto the fire once the flames reach a wick on the bottom of the can, which then extinguishes the flames. (Read more)

The story goes on to cover the project’s origins, interviewing Lt. Dano. I followed up with him and found out that he’s not done with the Colonial Gardens project.

The Lt. will soon be soliciting more grant funds and seeking to install cans in each of the 12 Colonial Garden units.

Once that goal is reached, he would like to offer cans to other high risk populations. In addition to seniors, he agreed that could include families with teens who sometimes cook unsupervised.

The cans are just part of the department’s efforts to make seniors in town safe. In addition to past safety talks at the Senior Center, SFD offers free home safety inspections for town seniors. 

As previously promoted:

Do you have member of your family that is a resident of Southborough MA and is a senior citizen? You can call the station and make an appointment to have us come out and check your home for hazards that could be avoided and give tips on safe cooking and also safe storage.

To take advantage of that offer, call the Fire Department at 508-485-3235 and ask for Lt. Dano.

As for the cans, Dano believes they may be available through the Department in December. He promised to let me know if/when they become available:

It’s a win win. We will drop the amount of kitchen fires, keeping everyone safe and at no cost.

If you don’t want to wait, the devices are available online at about $40 per can.

Looking at the information I found online, it looks like buying 2-4 of them may make sense. For a look at the demonstration video, click here.

1 Souse Bro November 6, 2015 at 7:16 AM

These safety devices are certainly better than nothing, however the distance between the stovetop and exhaust hood, (20″), is considerably less than the company recommends. As installed, by maint., not fire dept., they will cover the front 2 burners, not the whole stove, which is a big step in the right direction. Thank You to the S.F.D. for the extra steps for a safe environment…

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