Last Thursday, Oneonta Fire and Rescue Service Chief Kenneth Booth announced they were selected to receive a FEMA AFG Fire Prevention and Safety Grant in the amount of $47,619. The money will allow the purchase of approximately 1,525 stovetop fire suppression systems that will be distributed and installed at no cost to residents within Oneonta city limits.
While the department would love for others to have access to these devices, the grant stipulates them to be provided to those who reside in the city. Once the money is received, the initial push out will focus on those living in apartment complexes and multi-occupant units due to the fact that a fire in one residence is likely to affect many others around them.
Community Risk Reduction Division member Sgt. Jonathan Ledbetter said that OFD has been dispatched to a couple of multi-unit apartment fires in the past three years; both were generated from food being left on the stove cooking. Several families were displaced in both fires. Although there was significant damage, destruction, and/or physical harm in both situations, it could have been much worse.
Installation of the stovetop fire suppression system will minimize the risk of a stovetop fire spreading and possibly prevent families from losing their home and their belongings.
The fire suppression kits are easy to install and can be placed under standard or custom vent hoods, microwaves, or low-hung cabinets at various heights. Should a stovetop fire occur, the suppression kit will be activated automatically and extinguish the fire and limit damage.
Even though the grant specifies that the approximately 825 multi-occupant dwellings and apartment complexes be targeted, it does not rule out single dwelling homes. Anyone interested in having the free stovetop fire suppression kit installed at your residence should visit www.oneontafire.org and click “Fire Suppression Request” under the “Contact” tab.