Monday, August 04, 2008

Fire safety

I am back at camp, starting week three of four.

During the week, we have regular classes (I am teaching ecology) but every Saturday is different. Two days ago, we had survival English. Two of the classes were first aid (Which I taught) and fire safety. I am amused to see fire safety offered as there could be a bit of hypocrisy in it. Those who teach the subject are sincere, but the school management are more interested in climate control and preventing theft and possible misdeeds by students who cannot be tracked.

My classroom is in a corner so there is a door leading to an emergency exit.

Try to open that door. Do you carry an emergency door knob for such occasions?
If you could get through the door, or if you walked to the centre of the building and back through another hallway, you end up at this door, leading out. You can see the effort on my face as I desperately try to turn the knob. Locked.
I went outside and around the building and up the stairs to the other side of the door. No knob and a large sign saying "don't use. Use other door." the smaller sign, above, says, "be aware of heating, keep door closed".

There is another door on my floor that does open. Its on the other side of the building. I guess I am not really upset that the door is locked, more I wonder why did they think they needed it? Is it a legal requirement and after the building passed the local version of the building code, they felt they could lock it?
On the first floor of the building are the main entrance and two smaller entrances. One is padlocked closed and the other, above, is closed with caulking. I suppose a strong or motivated person could push hard enough to rip out the caulking, but still, it is strange. I also suspect that they could manage better climate control by teaching the students to close the main entrance doors after walking through them. Koreans, away from their homes, don't feel a need to close a door after opening it.

A few years ago, I posted a similar story about the school and how the students are locked up at night. Since that time, this big-ass mallet now sits near the main doors - the smaller fire exits are still chained and locked. I guess students could now smash the glass doors out if they need to leave in a hurry.


Masuro said...

Perhaps an anonymous call to the local fire inspector is in order?

kwandongbrian said...

At our university there was a Korean citizen of Australian origin (just trying to maintain a little anonymity for that person) who noticed the same thing at a university near the soju factory in Gangneung (again, anonymity). Anyway, that person made some calls and asked some questions and nobody seemed to care.

Masuro said...

Then I guess we should all carry hammers with us.

gordsellar said...

Nine pound hammers.

Yeah, it's nuts how poor fire safety here is. (And cops don't seem to chase up cases unless they involve rich or important people, either.) On dark days, one cannot help but think human life simply isn't valued unless it's a famous human's life.