I have had an experience of how important smoke alarms are. Last month we had the fire brigade phone us at 8.30pm. They were outside one of our management properties as a 111 call had been made by the neighbour — she had gone next-door to investigate the shrill coming from the alarm, and knew that the tenant was not home. Fortunately we had such an observant neighbour because when she looks in the kitchen window all she could see was smoke up to the ceiling! The fire officer had phoned because they couldn’t get in but by the time we arrived they had climbed in a window and opened all windows and doors to let the smoke out and to get to the source! How did this happen? The tenants had put away the toaster and kettle into the bench cupboard and had pulled down the sliding front door but unfortunately the toaster’s lever was sticking out and the door was sitting on top of it pressing it down and as the toaster was plugged in and switched on — it kept on heating up.
The plastic outer of the toaster melted, as did the kettle. The cupboard and sliding door was damaged by the heat and both were only minutes away from bursting into flames. If it was not for the neighbour being alerted by the sound of the smoke alarm it would have been disastourous — the house would have gone up in flames and probably next door as well. The tenant had not planned to come home that night.
The two factors that saved this from becoming a disaster was the vigilance of the neighbour and the sound of the smoke alarm. We had to clean ceilings, walls and carpet and the cupboard and door will have to be replaced, but we were lucky.
Landlords and tenants, check the smoke alarms — they do save lives and property. Tenants make sure you have contents insurance — this could so easily happen to you.
Just Rentals Ltd Mreinz
40 St Johns Rd, Meadowbank
09 528 4817 | 09 528 4817