Friday, August 07, 2020

Only a matter of time before Bangkok suffers towering inferno

Apr 05. 2018
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Re: “Narrow road foils firefighters” Nation front page, April 4.

I suspect that I am not the only one who has witnessed flagrant violations of Bangkok’s building codes in working-class apartment buildings. My building was theoretically updated to conform to the Building Control Act of 2532BE. Of course, that means that eight of my apartment building’s nine floors were dark during our last emergency.

It also has fire sprinklers in every apartment, connected, of course, to a water system that is powered by electric pumps that are prone to failing in an emergency. Many of the apartments still have electrical systems (if we can generously call them that) which lack modern fuses or circuit breakers and, to top that all off, we have tenants who are openly allowed to cook food with fires directly on top of potentially explosive cooking gas cylinders.

I’d like to think that my situation was extraordinary, or at least unique, but anyone who’s lived in Thailand for a while knows it is simply routine. Bangkok’s city officials might want to think about getting serious with building inspections, or some day we’ll have an even bigger disaster than the fire at the Rajevee Apartment Building.

Jason Jellison


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