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STOP-FYRE fights fire


The best time to buy safety equipment, so goes the saying, is before you need it.

It's a saying that Allen Kronebusch, a firefighter with the Oronoco Fire Department in Minnesota, knows all too well.

For the past 23 years, Kronebusch has been manufacturing and selling STOP-FYRE, a compact fire extinguisher that's been called "The World's Best Fire Extinguisher" by everyone from farmers to fire chiefs.

So when Kronebusch stresses the importance of buying safety equipment before you need it, he knows what he's talking about.

He's heard his share of sad stories from customers who finally bought STOP-FYRE extinguishers--but only after they'd experienced a devastating fire.

He's heard from his share of customers who believed "it couldn't happen to me." And then it happened to them.

Here are the sobering stats: According to the National Fire Protection Association, 1,389,500 fires were reported in the United States in 2011. That's one fire every 23 seconds. Those fires caused 3,005 deaths and $11.7 billion in property damage.

"It's so important for people to realize that it can happen to them," Kronebusch says. "Even if they're not buying STOP-FYRE, we want to make sure they understand the importance of fire safety."

Selling fire extinguishers may be Kronebusch's career. But in the bigger picture, saving livelihoods--and lives--is his calling.

Which is why he's devoted the past two-plus decades to constantly improving STOP-FYRE, a compact fire extinguisher filled with a proprietary blend of liquefied gases.

"You don't need monthly service, so you know STOP-FYRE is ready whenever you pick it up," Kronebusch says. "It's small (roughly 12-by-3 inches), light, and easy to use--things that save lives in a fire. It attacks the fire so you don't have to. You can't always see the flames, but STOP-FYRE uses a gas that expands when you spray it. It finds the fire and fights it."

STOP-FYRE's chemical agent is non-corrosive, which is one reason it's a favorite of farmers. It's also one of the reasons both the National Tractor Pullers Association and the Illini State Pullers have made STOP-FYRE their official extinguisher.

And while any time is a good time to invest in STOP-FYRE, Kronebusch says that right now is the best time to make that important investment. The success of STOP-FYRE has caused Kronebusch's company--AKE Safety Equipment--to begin changing its business model. AKE is moving quickly toward a dealer-based sales structure for selling STOP-FYRE. When that new business model is complete, the prices will no longer be controlled directly through AKE.

"We've grown so fast that we need a better way to distribute STOP-FYRE to our customers all across the country," Kronebusch says. "It's a good problem to have, but that also means that in the near future we'll no longer be selling direct to customers. So if you want to lock in on the current direct-to-customer pricing, you need to do that now."

This impending change in the business model, though, opens up numerous opportunities for dealers interested in selling STOP-FYRE.

Nic Hunt, a volunteer firefighter and farmer in Whiting, Iowa, is one of those STOP-FYRE dealers. And he's seen firsthand how effective STOP-FYRE can be, and how important it is for people to buy that safety equipment before they need it.

A few months ago, when a neighbor's pickup caught fire, he called Hunt. "He was in distress mode," Hunt recalls. "He said, 'Do you have any of those really good fire extinguishers with you?' I said 'I sure do,' and hopped in my truck. When we got there, the fire looked like it was beyond what an extinguisher could handle. But we're farmers, so we'll try anything. We grabbed a couple of STOP-FYREs and we beat the fire back. It was like it was magnetized to the heat. It was pretty impressive."

For Hunt, his first real-world use of STOP-FYRE served as the best kind of product demo.

"That neighbor said he wished he'd had a STOP-FYRE in his truck about 20 minutes earlier, because he could have saved it," Hunt says. "He said I won't have to talk him into buying one this time. As soon as he gets the insurance money from the truck, he'll be knocking on my door."

For more information, call 888-673-4734 or visit AKE.com. Also, AKE Safety Equipment is in the process of hiring dealers to sell STOP-FYRE. If you're interested in selling "The World's Best Fire Extinguisher," contact AKE Safety Equipment for more info on becoming a STOP-FYRE dealer.

Date: 10/29/2012



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