Close Call for Manawatu Property

On Saturday, 16th of June 2018, Callum McNiel and his wife experienced a close call which reminded them exactly why it’s so important to have efficient smoke alarms as well as a secure escape route. Callum shares his story below:

Firstly, we had our lounge, kitchen, dining and hall redecorated recently, and thought it would be a good idea to get the rest of our smoke alarms changed to your Cavius alarms. Thank goodness we did. My wife got up early, as she was having trouble sleeping. It was cold, as it was winter. She lit a fire in our free standing fireplace, which still had an unburnt log from the night before. After a time, the log combusted, if that’s the right word to use. It gave her a fright. Due to the force, it blew smoke out the front gaps which would normally contain it, but this was not what activated the alarm. She carried on pottering around, enjoying the heat, when suddenly, the alarm activated. She said she never smelled any smoke, and this goes to show that when they say smoke is a silent killer, they weren’t telling porkies. As she hadn’t smelled the smoke, she thought the combustion caused a fire in our ceiling, which we couldn’t see. She yelled out to get us, our daughter and I, out of the house, and we got out via the back door, which is the safest route out. Joy was on the phone to 111 FENZ very quickly.

Our house is 112 years old. It would burn like paper. Very fast! The Fire crew from our town, and a backup pump from the next closest town were sent. Luckily, there was no fire in the roof cavity either. So, why did the smoke alarm go off, you ask? Well, unbeknown to us, there was a crack in the base of the firebox. Only 5cm long. However, this was enough for the alarm to alert us there was a problem. It was a VERY early warning, which gave us good time to evacuate. It did make us think how we could refine our escape route. No house should be without an escape plan, especially with alternatives, if one is blocked. Practice once a month. Make it a safe ‘challenge’ to see who did the escape well.

We spent the extra money to get the Cavius alarms, and we are very glad we did. I ask the question, would the other alarms have picked up the smoke like yours did? Would we have had the same amount of time to escape? We placed them in the areas recommended by, Cavius. This reminds me of a situation whereby a person I knew, removed the battery from a smoke alarm, as it kept going off. It’s a pretty simple solution really.. Replace it! For a matter of a few dollars, or if money is really tight, visit your local fire station, which should have free ones. Life is too precious.

We all want to thank you for such an incredible product which picked up a problem way before we could. Definitely worth the money!! Thank you again.