Tuesday, April 6, 2010 Q. Last night our elderly neighbor went out and left her dinner cooking on the stove, causing a panic when the hallway filled with smoke and bad smells and set off smoke alarms. Fortunately the super was around and let himself into her apartment to shut off the stove before things got worse. But who knows whether we'll be so lucky next time. What do people do about elderly neighbors' safety (and their own)?
A. This situation is unfortunately common. But it's possible to preserve dignity and safety at the same time.
As a first step, your managing agent and/or board members should meet with your neighbor to share their concerns and suggest some safety measures, says property manager Michael Wolfe. Some suggestions include stove timers and smoke alarms as well as automatic water valve shut-offs to prevent accidental floods.
It may also be time to reach out to your neighbor's family.
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