The family of Aiga, a lady living in Valmiera, had a dramatic experience, when a fire broke out in their kitchen during night time as a result of a short circuit in the cooker hood. At that moment, she herself was at work, working a night shift, while her husband and her little son were already sleeping – the man was woken up only by the smoke detector’s alarm signal.
“The smoke detector we received as a gift from BTA Baltic Insurance Company, when we reinsured our apartment again,” Aiga comments the incident occurring at night from 26 to 27 August, admitting that her family has been insuring their apartment regularly, although have not yet installed a detector before that.
The apartment has recently undergone a repair, which included replacement of all the electric installations, with the kitchen equipment being connected by a certified master, so one may rule out such negative factors that cause fires most often – warn and out of date wiring or electrical equipment that has already served its time. “Unfortunately, electricity is a thing not to be toyed with, one must always be careful with it, even if there are no obvious and logical risk factors, which are often present in country houses, for example," emphasizes the apartment’s owner.
“We may actually say that the smoke detector that came as a present, saved the lives of our son and my husband. They had gone to sleep when something started smouldering, producing fumes that triggered the detector – it happened after midnight. Flames were already raging around the cooker hood when my husband entered the kitchen, the smoke was rolling towards the bedroom. He grabbed our son, hurried out to knock on the neighbour's door and called the firefighters,” recalls Aiga.
Firefighters arrived at the accident site, along with the emergency medical team – the medics established that people have left the smoke packed rooms in time, with no harm caused to anyone’s health.
“The apartment, of course, is uninhabitable after the fire – soot has damaged not just the kitchen, it has even passed through the closed then bathroom door, so the flooring needs to be replaced, furniture cleaned, all clothing and bed linen washed,” the lady describes the situation after the fire.
She had always previously been taking good care of insuring her home, moreover – this time very lucky for her – she had chosen a policy also covering the expenses for temporary place of residence and covering various expenses related to fixing the consequences of the fire. “It was not really the cheapest, although not the most expensive policy either, but we feel BTA going an extra mile for us – they do even more than the contractual obligation of the company, all specialists are responsive indeed,” admits Aiga.
Inquiring into the rental apartment supply, to find a place for the family to settle while their apartment is renovated, Aiga and her husband came to realize that the price and quality ratio of the supply stock was rather underwhelming, therefore they were happy for the opportunity to temporarily reside at the “O.K. Hotel” there on the spot, in Valmiera, and the lady managing the hotel kindly permitted to grant a “guest status” also to the family’s cat.
Aiga hopes that all the necessary documents for the repair works to start will be processed soon and the family could return home. She reminds all relatives and friends of the necessity not just insuring their home, but installing a smoke detector as well. “It indeed is neither complicated, nor expensive. I know some friends, who have purchased this tiny gadget, but have not yet installed it. I keep telling them not to postpone it, and how important it is, as smoke detector did really save our family,” she adds.
Along with the Cabinet regulations, which required each home be fitted with smoke detectors as of 1 January 2020, BTA Baltic Insurance Company AAS (BTA), as part of its current Home insurance campaign, distributed 10,000 thousand smoke detectors free of charge, reminds Elīna Rasmane, BTA Marketing and Public Relations Department Director.
Analysis of the State Fire and Rescue Service statistics of fires in residential buildings reveals that the cause of death of around half of those deceased in a fire has been intoxication from smoke, from household items and furniture at home, not physical burns.
According to the State Fire and Rescue Service, a practical solution to reduce the number of such casualties is equipping the residential premises with technical devices warning people about a fire broken out and thus enabling them to manage to escape the burning premises. The most effective technical solution for protection against fire is fitting the apartment with autonomous smoke detector, activated by smoke.
BTA Baltic Insurance Company is one of the leading insurance companies in the Baltics, offering the broadest range of non-life insurance services in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. BTA employs more than 1,000 employees in the Baltics. The largest shareholder of BTA is Vienna Insurance Group AG with close to 200 years of experience in the insurance business. With about 50 companies in 30 countries and more than 25,000 employees, Vienna Insurance Group is a clear market leader in its Central and Eastern European markets, and takes care of more than 22 million customers. Vienna Insurance Group is the best-rated company of ATX, the leading index of Vienna Stock Exchange (since 1994) with a rating of A+ with stable outlook from Standard & Poor’s; its share is also listed on the Prague Stock Exchange. Vienna Insurance Group works in close partnership with Erste Group – the largest retail bank in CEE.
Marketing and Public Relations Department Director
BTA Baltic Insurance Company AAS