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A new product could "virtually wipe out" stovetop fires, says P.E.I.'s fire marshal.

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Dave Blacquiere demonstrates how paper burns on the regular coil burner, right, but not on the Safe-T-element, left. ((CBC))

The Safe-T-element is an electronically controlled cover plate that is installed on top of existing coil-type stovetop burners. It prevents the element from heating to the temperature where oil can ignite.

Fire marshal Dave Blacquiere told CBC News Tuesday he has seen a number of demonstrations and statistics on the impact of the device and he's convinced it can save lives.

"We could virtually wipe out stovetop fires where we have appliances with the coil tops," said Blacquiere.

"Housing authorities in Ontario are embracing this wholeheartedly, so much so that any new public housing built is going to have this kind of feature in it where there is a coil-top stove. And they have even gone so far as to retrofit their existing stock. So there is a whole lot of belief in this product."

Blacquiere said he plans to speak with Island housing authorities and apartment building owners about the benefits of installing the devices.

The Safe-T-elements not only have the potential to save lives, said Blacquiere, but could also reduce energy costs.

The cost of the device for four burners is about $150 plus installation.