Kitchens Are Hot Spot for Fire Prevention

It’s high time for security and fire/life-safety professionals to cook up some five-star fire prevention solutions for the kitchen.

YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED that this year one of my overall themes for Tech Talk has been to provide some of those “extra” products and services that go beyond the expected normal offerings of professional security dealers. After all, you should strive to exceed the normal expectations in an effort to set your company apart in this increasingly highly competitive security market.

For those who may not have been aware, the week of Oct. 9-15 was National Fire Prevention Week. What have you done as a professional security person/organization to show community support for such a worthy event? Yes, you likely provide great detection services, but isn’t deterrence and prevention also important in the grand scheme of things? What better opportunity for showing your concern for customers’ and sales prospects’ need for fire prevention.

Looking Under the Hood for Opportunity
Here are some facts from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) that you may not have heard. Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home fire injuries – based on NFPA’s most recent data two out of every five home fires started in the kitchen, two-thirds of home cooking fires started with ignition of food or other cooking materials, and ranges accounted for 61% of home cooking fire incidents.

Our industry is great at providing smoke detection for overall fire detection and protection. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could help with prevention of personal injury from cooking fires? Maybe you can, and it might not even cost that much.

Security dealers often offer the option of fire suppression for commercial establishments, but not as frequently for residential customers. We have seen the statistics. Why not give it a shot? Fire suppression products and services at various levels of investment are easy to provide and install. Here are some options to consider:

  • The Guardian III Model G300B is UL- and ULC-Listed suppression system and features a fuel shutoff. It is manufactured by Guardian Safety Solutions Int’l in Dallas (guardianssi.com). This is a compact version of larger commercial suppression systems. The small tank and controls can easily be mounted in neighboring cabinetry. Spray distribution nozzles are placed under the range hood and deliver the wet suppression agent. Activation is sensed by two magnetically attached heat sensors.
  • Stovetop Firestop is made by WilliamsRDM in Fort Worth, Texas (williamsrdm.com). These are some of the easiest and lowest cost fire prevention add-ons for stovetop fires you can install. Originally sold starting in 1972, this device is about the size of a large can of tuna. The canisters are attached magnetically to the underside of a range hood on either side. They have a fuse that can only be ignited by a stovetop flare up, thus reducing the chance of any falsely triggering heat sensors. The extinguishing powder discharge is easy to clean up.

Additionally, dealers might want to look into offering various sizes of fire extinguishers for their residential customers. One suggestion that can also address sales & marketing while you’re at it is to use the offering of a lower cost extinguisher, such as the First Alert Tundra (firstalert.com), as a sales promotion, appointment setting and closing tool.

About the Author

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Bob is currently a Security Sales & Integration "Tech Talk" columnist and a contributing technical writer. Bob installed his first DIY home intercom system at the age of 13, and formally started his technology career as a Navy communication electronics technician during the Vietnam War. He then attended the Milwaukee School of Engineering and went on to complete a Security Management program at Milwaukee Area Technical College. Since 1976, Bob has served in a variety of technical, training and project management positions with organizations such ADT, Rollins, National Guardian, Lockheed Martin, American Alarm Supply, Sonitrol and Ingersoll Rand. Early in his career, Bob started and operated his own alarm dealership. He has also served as treasurer of the Wisconsin Burglar and Fire Alarm Association and on Security Industry Association (SIA) standards committees. Bob also provides media and training consulting to the security industry.

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