The Union City Fire Department drafted an ordinance that was recently passed by the city council which mandates the use of high-end, heat-limiting technology in multi-family dwellings.
All new or replacement electronic coil rangers will need to be equipped with the technology within the next four years — by Dec. 31, 2016.
Effective immediately, Fire Marshal Larry Knowles said all new multi-family dwellings locating in Union City will be required to have the technology as part of the permitting process.
What the technology does, he said, is allows the burner to only reach a temperature of 660 degrees before it shuts off, dropping down the temperature before it begins to heat back up to 660 degrees.
“Most oils start burning at 700, 710, 720 degrees,” he said. “This is well below.”
In addition, anything touching the burner will not catch fire. Knowles demonstrated by placing a piece of paper on the burner, which only scorched, but never caught fire.
“This device prevents the fire from ever happening,” he said.
The cost for residents to install the technology is $180.
“That’s chicken feed compared to a life,” Knowles said of the price.
Ultimate savings will be netted from purchasing the heat technology, as it limits stovetops from reaching excessive heat.
Knowles said residents can contact any fire manufacturing business on where to purchase the technology.
He said he has been looking around at what is out in the market today for fire prevention when he learned of the high-end, heat-limiting technology. After seeing a demonstration, he and the department began working on an ordinance. From start to finish, the process was four months.
Union City is the first municipality in the state to pass such an ordinance.
While multi-family homes fall under the state fire marshal’s jurisdiction, which makes laws such as this allowable, single-family homes do not.
Knowles said the fire department will still be encouraging single-family homes to use the technology. He also said the fire department plans to reach out to other municipalities to encourage a similar ordinance.
According to a press release from the city, which quotes the National Fire Protection Agency, cooking is responsible for roughly 44 percent of residential fires. In 2010, 420 deaths were related to home cooking fires.