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Safer stovetops could be installed soon in La Crosse high rises



It’s Fire Prevention Week in the U.S., and a La Crosse city committee marked the occasion by approving a plan to make kitchens safer in city owned housing.

The Finance and Personnel committee gave the La Crosse Fire Department permission to accept a government grant for ‘smart burners’ — stovetops that only stay hot if you place a metal pot or pan on the burner.

“They are a burner that, once if they’re left on for too long, the burner actually will cool itself,” La Crosse deputy fire chief Craig Snyder told the committee. “The burners themselves only heat up in contact with metal-type surfaces,” and they will not ignite paper.

Snyder added that cooking accidents are a major cause of home fires — blamed in about 46% of fires in La Crosse.

The grant from FEMA would pay for about 2,000 stovetop units, which could be installed in every high-rise in La Crosse County.

The full city council could vote Thursday on accepting the FEMA fire safety grant.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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