Importance of smoke alarms highlighted again

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Importance of smoke alarms highlighted again

The rescue of an elderly woman from a burning flat last week has highlighted the importance of smoke alarms and not leaving cooking unattended, Fire and Emergency New Zealand Fire Region Manager, Region 1, Kerry Gregory says.

The woman was rescued from her home in the North Shore suburb of Hillcrest on the evening of June 28 after neighbours heard her smoke alarm and saw smoke in her kitchen.

Firefighters found her asleep in bed with the bedroom door shut, a very hot fry pan on the stove top and the flat full of smoke.

"If it wasn’t for the neighbours hearing the alarm and alerting us, this incident could have ended in tragedy," Mr Gregory says.

"It is a reminder of the importance of having a smoke alarm in each bedroom and not leaving cooking unattended.

"it is also a reminder to install hearing impaired alarms if you need them. The alarm that sounded was on the other side of the bedroom door and the woman had removed her hearing aid."

Unattended cooking fires are the leading cause of house fires in New Zealand. There have been 370 so far this year and 1488 since the start of 2015.