Alarming

As I mentioned fire insurance in my last post, I thought I would continue in the same vein with telling you about my latest unexpected visitor from the local fire department.

Kyoto fire engineLast week or so, a young man in dark blue uniform knocked on my door and started to talk rapidly, in Japanese, of course. On seeing my bewildered look, he paused to think and came up with the most stereotypical question ever: Do you have a Japanese husband? (And where the hell is he?? – okay, he didn’t say that out loud but I’m sure he thought it.) He understood quickly that that question hadn’t gone down very well, so he resorted to use his mobile phone as interpreter, and I finally found out what he wanted: He was here to inspect my apartment with respect to fire safety.

Now I know that interestingly, I only need two fire alarms, one in my bedroom, and the other one in my kitchen. Probably two alarms are enough because my apartment is that small, it may be different for larger houses. Lo and behold: I am almost safe because I already have two fire alarms – thanks to whomever lived here before – and they are even working!

I say I’m almost safe because while one of the alarms is indeed in my bedroom, the other one is not in my kitchen but in my office. Even though the firefighter urged me to move it to my kitchen, in my office it will stay. That’s because I think that a cable fire in my office with all the electrical appliances and paperwork around will be, if not more likely, then at least more dangerous than any fire in a kitchen that I hardly use. Besides, the kitchen is directly next to my bedroom where surely that fire alarm would pick up the smoke or heat of a fire, so I am feeling safe in any case.

2 thoughts on “Alarming

  1. Fire alarms in kitchens are so annoying… we had one when I was living in Newcastle… and it’s just not fun to be woken up on a Sunday morning by a siren because someone was frying bacon… or eggs… or something… for breakfast…

    • I can see the point somehow: after all, people are cooking with gas here. Still, I think the way I spread my fire alarms does make more sense – in my situation at least. And if all else fails, I can always buy more fire alarms 😉