Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Real Tip for Something that you Should do Before Coming to Korea

Bring a fire alarm.

They are hard to find here, and there have been a few cases of English teachers who have died in fires.

The post "Ultimate Korea Survivor Guide," was kind of a joke based on something I read on another blog, but I'm serious here.

I don't make some kind of "All Koreans," statement where I condemn the entire society, but I have seen some a few outstanding cases of negligence in fire safety.

I should point out that most meat grilling places probably wouldn't fly in America because of both the raw meat and the burning charcoal (commie socialist country dominated by OSHA.) I over look these because 고기 집들 are always fun.

But I have lived in at least two dormitories in Korea were the front doors were chained closed with bicycle locks. Someone challenged the director of the dormitory at the university where I worked that in case of a fire, chaining the dormitory door shut is probably a stupid idea. The director's response was that since the doors were glass, somebody could just break the door down and everything will be hunky dory....

Then there is the other thing that I have noticed; smoke alarms are almost impossible to get here. I asked my wife where you can get a smoke alarm and she didn't know. We went to Top Mart and Homeplus in search of smoke alarms too. When asked why they didn't have smoke alarms the people who worked there said something about how most apartment buildings already have fire systems. That is "apartment buildings," not one or two room buildings, where many English teachers and working class Koreans live.

So if you want to come to Korea and want to do all that you can, to protect yourself from burning to death in a fire that is cause by some asshole throwing his cigarette but mindlessly to the ground, go to a Wall mart or something and pick up a smoke alarm. Hell, pick up twenty smoke alarms and try to sell them to other people.


chinggu yah said...

I just want to know if what are the common reasons of fire there in Korea?

3gyupsal said...

Chinggu Yah, I don't know what the reasons are for fires in Korea are. I don't know what the statistics of causes are, or if fire departments even try to figure out why fires start, or if they did, if they keep records.

There are a lot of fires that start in places where people live in shipping containers because they heat themselves using small kerosene heaters that inevitably tip over.

My wife told me about an apartment explosion that happened because a guy was angry at his wife so he caused a gas leak and then lit a match. I certainly don't mean to paint Koreans as reckless with fire, but sometimes that is the impression that I get. (I'm not really one to talk, because when i was a kid I liked to play with fireworks, and well I have also grilled things on the roof of my apartment building. Last year for my birthday I took about three hours to try to cook a steak on some coals that just wouldn't light.)

chinggu yah said...

if they don't really give attention to fire safety. Maybe there are only few incidents..unless all guys there leak a gas whenever they're mad to their wives(just for laughs). I wonder why the coals wouldn't light..^^?