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Military

A very costly fire recently occurred at an Air Force installation — a fire that involved a “special range-top fire extinguishing system.” While the official investigation results have not yet been released, it’s clear that many installations could benefit from a review of the special requirements for such systems. Headquarters Air Force Civil Engineer Support Agency has also issued A-Gram 08-01, “Special Range-Top Fire Extinguishing Systems,” which addresses ensuring system operability.

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Air Force installations with government-owned, government-operated Military Family Housing (MFH) now have the opportunity to prevent the most common cause of MFH fires and potentially reduce operating costs. This can be done by modifying the burners on kitchen ranges with the “Safe-T-Element®.” This product is unique because it prevents a fire rather than trying to suppress it. It is also approved for residential-type ranges installed in non-residential locations that would otherwise require a range-top extinguishing system.

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In 2007-2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 3,810 structure fires in dormitories, fraternities, sororities, and barracks. These fires caused an annual average of 2 civilian deaths, 30 civilian injuries, and $9 million in direct property damage.

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A retrofit solution for electric ranges helps curb cooking fires.

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There is a potential safety hazard related to a special type of range-top fire extinguishing system. The system may be inoperable because the safety pin is left in place after initial installation or annual maintenance. This particular system is required when residential-type ranges are installed in locations other than living units and the ranges are not fire-safe.

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