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Death traps: How many Bangkok theaters lack sprinklers, smoke detectors?

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Death traps: How many Bangkok theaters lack sprinklers, smoke detectors?

By Teeranai Charuvastra, Staff Reporter

 

sm.jpg

Smoke rises above Major Cineplex Pinklao prior to the theater’s roof collapsing as it was engulfed in flames Thursday in western Bangkok. Photo: Matichon

 

BANGKOK — Revelations that no smoke detectors or fire suppression systems were installed inside a large cinema destroyed Thursday by fire has prompted officials to inspect 300 other cinemas in the capital city to find out if they comply with fire regulations.

 

Instead of smoke detectors, Major Cineplex Pinklao in western Bangkok relied on heat detectors, which take longer to set off an alarm, according to Bussakorn Saensuk, a fire hazard expert for the Engineering Institute of Thailand.

 

Full story: http://www.khaosodenglish.com/news/crimecourtscalamity/2016/08/02/death-traps-many-bangkok-theaters-lack-sprinklers-smoke-detectors/

 

-- Khaosod English 2016-08-03

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As appears to be the norm, now that the horse has bolted, time to check the locks on the other stable doors.

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The reason they use heat detectors is because smoke detector types are limited due to the government refusing to let certain types, which work better, into the country. Nothing new there, and sprinklers are limited due to height of buildings.The difference in time to actuate of heat against smoke detectors would have made no difference in this situation.

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Some simple questions and a personal note:

 

1:  Are there any building code laws in Thailand that are supposed to be ineffect?

2:  Was the building built to code?

3:  Who approved the design?  Will a name or an official or an agency ever be listed?

4:  Who inspected the as built to see if it met the codes, and who if anybody signed off that it did?

 

  yes I know this is Thailand and the "saving face" mentality and the bribes and corruption almost guarantee no straight answers will be given.

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1 hour ago, BigBadGeordie said:

As appears to be the norm, now that the horse has bolted, time to check the locks on the other stable doors.

 

Act first think later. Plus if overlooking it saves some money... :whistling:

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Do they also train for emergency situations in a Thai mall? Or test the systems regularly? Or test the electrical systems whether they were installed properly?

 

Guess i know the answer already.

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2 hours ago, BigBadGeordie said:

As appears to be the norm, now that the horse has bolted, time to check the locks on the other stable doors.

Operation normal. With the fire they became the flavor of the month. Now all others will be inspected (which in reality should be part of the overall process) and the bad boys who cut corners hung out to dry and made an example of. Everybody gets a turn. 

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The day before what is now the Inter-Continental Hotel opened it caught fire because an air-conditioning unit exploded. People had to be lifted off the roof by helicopter. I happened to pass by a few minutes after it all kicked off and it was quite dramatic as people were airlifted to the roof of the Police General hospital nearby. Here's the thing. The law demanded that a sprinkler system be in place but there is no law that says it must be turned on. Guess if it was turned on.

 

Another little tale of a fire in the area - the Central Chitlom store caught fire and security guards blocked the fireman from entering "as they would steal things." So the store burned down. No-one was allowed to enter the building, but that was ignored as the owners wanted to salvage what they could, and someone was killed. Guess if the owners were punished.

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All well and good to check how many theatres but how many buildings period have problems like this? Somehow I doubt this is a movie theatre-specific problem and more of a general issue with construction. Condos, hotels, office towers...

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The real question is, how many lack functional smoke detectors, and working sprinkler systems, and when was the last time the systems have been fully inspected by competent people, who cannot be bought? 

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