Chester Housing Authority

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The Spirit: Fire suppression devices going into every CHA kitchen

It's called the "StoveTop FireStop" automatic fire suppressor, a device that costs only about $20 but can save the Chester Housing Authority (CHA) thousands in fire damage. 

Chester Fire Commissioner Travis Thomas joined CHA officials last week for a demonstration of the device for the CHA Board of Commissioners, which approved buying the devices for all public housing homes in the city."The average cost of repairing an apartment after a cooking fire is about $8,000. By installing these simple devices, we will prevent that kind of damage, including thewater damage done when the sprinkler system goes off," said CHA Executive Director Steven A. Fischer.

"This expenditure makes sense both from a safety and cost perspective."The installations will be quick. The device adheres to the top of the stove with a magnet. It's that simple."The device works very well. Once smoke from a stove fire begins to billow, the canister opens and fires a burst of baking soda, dousing the flame. This is a great idea, and I applaud the housing authority for thinking about fire prevention first," Thomas said.The StoveTop FireStops are going in 531 CHA homes to start but will likely be expanded to other properties.

"We hope our action encourages our partners who own public housing units in Chester and property owners in the Housing Choice Voucher Program to install these as well," said CHA Board Chair Sheila Church. "The demonstration of how easy the devices are to install and how well they work convinced us."CHA has consistently won praise form the Housing Authority Risk Retention Group, which provides insurance coverage to housing authorities.

Proactive initiatives such as this to safeguard people and properties go a long way toward that recognition.