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Fire safety/Security bars on windows?
« on: May 27, 2012, 10:33:05 am »
I just moved to Korea about 3 weeks ago, and something has bothered me a bit. I noticed that there are no smoke detectors in my building, and only one tiny fire extinguisher on each floor.

Also troubling is that I have heavy metal bars over each window. This struck me as a bit strange. This ain't Detroit. In the event people here have to escape from a building fire, what do they do? Do you guys also have barred windows?


  • madison79
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Re: Fire safety/Security bars on windows?
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2012, 10:40:04 am »
It's -ev to deal with some people.


  • cruisemonkey
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Re: Fire safety/Security bars on windows?
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2012, 12:47:09 pm »
In the event people here have to escape from a building fire, what do they do?

Cook.  ???

Fire safety is not a 'big deal' in K-land (and in fact, almost all of Asia). A smart person will saw (almost) through the bars - so it looks as though they're solid - but can be easily knocked out should the need arise.

More than once I've seen fire exit doors in hotels chained shut.

I had been at my middle school for three years when a class (the 'bad boys') lit their classroom on fire. After we got it out and all the pandemonium died down, it struck me there was no evacuation plan - I asked - and my CT, the v.p. & principal were puzzled as to why I was asking.  ::)

 
« Last Edit: May 27, 2012, 12:48:58 pm by cruisemonkey »
The Ks once gave me five minutes notice. I didn't know what to do with the extra time.


  • tesoljon
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Re: Fire safety/Security bars on windows?
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2012, 03:30:42 pm »
We've had a fire drill once and a separate fire safety instruction assembly involving a fire truck on campus.


  • cruisemonkey
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Re: Fire safety/Security bars on windows?
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2012, 04:30:09 pm »
We've had a fire drill once and a separate fire safety instruction assembly involving a fire truck on campus.

Progressive.

I watched building burn down because all the parked cars blocking the narrow street (just wide enough to get two beside each other... if the mirrors were folded in) did not allow access for the fire trucks. They ran hoses from a standpipe four blocks away... but there wasn't enough water pressure to make more difference than using a garden hose.

It was a comedy of errors. The Fire Dept. left after an hour - I'm pretty sure the boys had better thing to do... like pound soju - and 20 minutes later, the next door building erupted in flames because embers had gotten under the eves and smouldered until the wind came up.
The Ks once gave me five minutes notice. I didn't know what to do with the extra time.


Re: Fire safety/Security bars on windows?
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2012, 04:51:12 pm »
We've had a fire drill once and a separate fire safety instruction assembly involving a fire truck on campus.

Progressive.

I watched building burn down because all the parked cars blocking the narrow street (just wide enough to get two beside each other... if the mirrors were folded in) did not allow access for the fire trucks. They ran hoses from a standpipe four blocks away... but there wasn't enough water pressure to make more difference than using a garden hose.

It was a comedy of errors. The Fire Dept. left after an hour - I'm pretty sure the boys had better thing to do... like pound soju - and 20 minutes later, the next door building erupted in flames because embers had gotten under the eves and smouldered until the wind came up.

Uh... whoa. Where was this?

Guess it's time to buy an industrial saw to cut through my window bars in case of fire.


  • Fleur
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Re: Fire safety/Security bars on windows?
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2012, 05:04:25 pm »
My building has no smoke detectors or anything either. And no fire extinguishers. I have the bars on my windows too so I just have to hope for the best.
I asked my CT about getting a fire extinguisher or something when I first got here and he told me "just don't expect there to be a fire."  ???
Do they sell those battery-operated smoke detectors in Korea? My CT didn't seem to know what I was talking about when I asked him about them.


Re: Fire safety/Security bars on windows?
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2012, 05:13:31 pm »
My building has no smoke detectors or anything either. And no fire extinguishers. I have the bars on my windows too so I just have to hope for the best.
I asked my CT about getting a fire extinguisher or something when I first got here and he told me "just don't expect there to be a fire."  ???
Do they sell those battery-operated smoke detectors in Korea? My CT didn't seem to know what I was talking about when I asked him about them.

Looks like you can buy them online. No idea where else. I think they're called 화재경보기.


  • skippy
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Re: Fire safety/Security bars on windows?
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2012, 08:14:47 pm »
Well then do something about it.  Get a smoke detector and a fire extinguisher.  Should not be that too hard to get or find.   Check at big department store like Emart.  Your  local hardware store should have some stuff too.  There are even some specialty places that sell fire prevention stuff.

As to the bars.  Those are common enough.  Plus they are useful.  Crime is low in Korea but there is still first story and second story robberies.  I have heard of people being robbed because of a careless windows.  Plus some assaults/rapes.  Not an everyday occurrence but it happens.  Unlocked first floor window on what looks like an empty apartment crime of opportunity.

As to changing the bars or having them taken down.  As you likely do not own the apartment you can not do changes.  If you change things it will raise neighbors, landlords, coteachers, bosses, etc ire.  You can ask but nothing will be done.  If you have the money, time and patience see if you can change them.  I am certain there are bars that swing open and or lock.

You have legit worries, the problem is most people will not care as it is not their worries.

In Memory of William Kapoun. 
http://blog.esldaily.org/2008/04/13/paranoia-or-good-sense-fire-safety.aspx
Please consider adding some info to your "Personal Text"  Like type of school, visa status, county of origin.  These little bits of info can help people help you.


  • JahRhythm
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Re: Fire safety/Security bars on windows?
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2012, 08:28:32 pm »
Well then do something about it.  Get a smoke detector and a fire extinguisher.  Should not be that too hard to get or find.   Check at big department store like Emart.  Your  local hardware store should have some stuff too.  There are even some specialty places that sell fire prevention stuff.

As to the bars.  Those are common enough.  Plus they are useful.  Crime is low in Korea but there is still first story and second story robberies.  I have heard of people being robbed because of a careless windows.  Plus some assaults/rapes.  Not an everyday occurrence but it happens.  Unlocked first floor window on what looks like an empty apartment crime of opportunity.

As to changing the bars or having them taken down.  As you likely do not own the apartment you can not do changes.  If you change things it will raise neighbors, landlords, coteachers, bosses, etc ire.  You can ask but nothing will be done.  If you have the money, time and patience see if you can change them.  I am certain there are bars that swing open and or lock.

You have legit worries, the problem is most people will not care as it is not their worries.

In Memory of William Kapoun. 
http://blog.esldaily.org/2008/04/13/paranoia-or-good-sense-fire-safety.aspx

This is an inaccurate generalization.
Curious how much experience with apartments you have here to paint with such broad strokes.

I agree that fire safety standards here are dreadful.
I find myself thinking about it in different places and it can be unsettling.
One of the reasons I like living on a lower floor... 8)
Ever been to FF in Hongdae?
Place is a bloody death trap.
We teach EFL not ESL. Hagwon and "Private School" are not synonymous. Not everyone works in either a hagwon or public school. Immigration Question? Call 1345.


  • lotte world
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Re: Fire safety/Security bars on windows?
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2012, 03:44:54 pm »
I am guessing that the bars on the windows are a necessary evil.  I don't think they are good in the case of a fire, unless there is some kind of internal release mechanism.

Regarding fires- I bought a smoke alarm on my last trip home.  It's installed on the ceiling with BluTak so I can take it to my next apartment with me.


  • Cereal
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Re: Fire safety/Security bars on windows?
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2012, 10:56:25 am »
During the EPIK horror show in Seoul for 1 week last September about 200 of us stayed in a dorm-room style building. There were no evacuation diagrams on the doors, there was no discussion about evac. procedures, all the first floor windows were barred, and the only entrance/exit door was chained and padlocked at midnight. The "guard" went home with "the" key.

It was a recipe for disaster and would have meant huge fines and possibly jail time in any half evolved place in the West. Good God, I've never even seen it in Laos!

I wrote a formal letter of complaint to my Embassy as well as EPIK.

Never heard back  :o
"The urge to destroy is also a creative urge."
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  • Aqvm
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Re: Fire safety/Security bars on windows?
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2012, 11:00:39 am »
I wrote a formal letter of complaint to my Embassy as well as EPIK.

Never heard back  :o
I can tell you from my experience about a month ago that they haven't changed. Apparently there is a secret unlocked door in the basement that you can escape fiery death/break curfew with, though.


Re: Fire safety/Security bars on windows?
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2012, 12:48:50 pm »
Asking can work. I've known a few people who lived on the first floor of a place that asked and received bars to put up, so I don't see why taking them down would be more of a hassle.

I'm glad I'm  not the only one that gets weird about the lack of fire safety. The "drills" at my school just mean they ignore it and speak louder as they continue on the class. My apartment (new when I moved in three years ago) has no fire alarms or even a communal fire extinguisher. Honestly, I don't really think too much about it except for around dinner time once a week when whatever my neighbor is cooking erupts into billowing smoke.

Side note: I was watching a show with my now ex-bf and I learned that (at least in high rises) the walls between apts on the balconies (or whatever you would call them) are weak on purpose. You can knock the wall down in the event of a fire. Kind of smart. Except for that part where you can hear everything going on next door because the wall is hollowed out plaster.

Second side note: Do  you think the casual stance on dying in a fiery inferno is why one side of any given double door is always inexplicably locked, no matter how much traffic goes in and out of it? That blows my mind.


  • lotte world
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Re: Fire safety/Security bars on windows?
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2012, 02:28:50 pm »
Side note: I was watching a show with my now ex-bf and I learned that (at least in high rises) the walls between apts on the balconies (or whatever you would call them) are weak on purpose. You can knock the wall down in the event of a fire. Kind of smart. Except for that part where you can hear everything going on next door because the wall is hollowed out plaster.

I have this!  My landlord told me to keep a certain section of the wall clear as it can be used as an escape route to the next apartment.  I haven't suffered any extra noise because of it.  Also, my apartment came with a fire extinguisher, and the whole building has fire sensors.  The building is about 18 months old.


  • nomad_kate
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Re: Fire safety/Security bars on windows?
« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2012, 03:01:26 pm »
I lived in a third floor apartment and I was burgled.  I wanted bars put on the window and my boss refused.  I eventually moved into another apartment, and eventually bars were added to the original apartment.

My current apartment has a fire extinguisher and some sort of rope pulley thing in the hallway.  I supposed a smoke detector would be a good idea.