GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – Every year in the United States, cooking is responsible for more than 158,000 home fires and nearly one billion dollars in damages.
This week, some Green Bay veterans got a new safety device installed in their kitchens to reduce the risk of cooking fires.
Smart burners can turn an electrical-coil stove into a ‘fire-safe’ appliance in just minutes.
“They are a plug and play device, so you pull out the coil in stove and pop in new device,” said Lt. Nick Craig with Green Bay Metro Fire.
Smart burners are designed to shut off when the temperature reaches 662 degrees. It’s still hot enough to cook food, but well below the ignition temperature for common items seen in cooking fires, like oil, plastic, and fabrics.
“Even paper won’t catch fire. We can literally put it directly on the burner. It will get brownish in color and get crumbly, but it will not burst into flames,” said Lt. Craig. “Unregulated coils will go over 1,000 degrees and that is when we run into problems because that is meeting autoignition temps of those things we typically see catch fire on the stove.”
Mason Manor is a 152-unit apartment building in Green Bay. The Green Bay Housing Authority finished installing smart burners in all units in 2012. The fire department said it hasn’t responded to a cooking fire there since. Prior to the smart burners, the fire department responded to about 2-3 cooking fires a year.
“It’s nice having those because it gives tenants confidence to cook without worrying things will start on fire, from a management perspective, gives us peace of mind,” said Lucas Leahy, Mason Manor Building Services Coordinator with the Green Bay Housing Authority.
Thanks to a donation from the Green Bay Metro Fire Department’s Benevolent Association, eight smart burners were installed at Veterans Manor Apartments on Thursday.
The average starting cost for the smart burners is around $200.
“Some of our residents are maybe in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia, so this will be perfect for them in their units,” said Tanya Puyleart, Director of Operations for Cardinal Capital Management.
Puyleart hopes to install smart burners in every unit in the apartment complex eventually.
“We have a $10,000 insurance deductible, so $230 vs $10,000 is huge, it’s huge,” said Puyleart.
The National Fire Protection Association reports 53 percent of cooking fires start on the stove top. Lt. Craig said the smart burners make it nearly impossible to have a cooking fire on the stove.
Veteran Mike Bins received a donated smart burner on Thursday. He tells Action 2 News he is looking forward to making dinner.
“Make some venison on there,” said Bins.
PHOTO CREDIT: Green Bay Metro Fire Department, LinkedIn