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Cinema owner ‘neglected fire safety rules’

BANGKOK: The owner of the fire-ravaged Major Cineplex Pinklao failed to comply with several public building safety regulations, according to the Building Safety Inspectors and Officers Association (BSA).

accidents, construction,


Bangkok Post

Thursday 4 August 2016, 09:03AM


Women watch the progress of firemen attempting to douse the Major Cineplex Pinklao blaze last Thursday (July 28). Photo: Chanat Katanyu
Women watch the progress of firemen attempting to douse the Major Cineplex Pinklao blaze last Thursday (July 28). Photo: Chanat Katanyu

The operator of the cinema in Bang Phlat district of Bangkok had not submitted a report showing the results of mandatory safety inspections for about three years, said Wasawat Kitsiriteeaphak, president of the BSA.

He was speaking at a press briefing held yesterday (Aug 3) after an initial inspection of the cinema that was damaged by a fire last Thursday (July 28). Two people suffered minor cuts from broken glass during the fire.

The fire started in a cinema on the fourth floor of the building situated on Boromratchonnanee Rd. Up to 40 fire engines and more than 100 firefighters attended the blaze.

The BSA, along with the Council of Engineers and the Architect Council of Thailand (Act), conducted a joint inspection of the building on Saturday (July 30).

Citing findings from the inspection, Mr Wasawat said due to negligence, the cinema operator would be required to pay an initial fine of B60,000, plus additional fines of B10,000 per day, counting from the day it first failed to submit safety inspection reports.

“If a formal inspection by local authorities shows the cinema still doesn’t have sufficient safety measures, they may issue an order to suspend the use of the entire building or certain parts of it,” he said.

Aside from this mistake, the owner of the cinema was also found to have broken other safety regulations, said the BSA president.

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The cinema owner failed to install an automatic fire alarm device in all necessary parts of the building, an automatic fire sprinkler system in all parts of the building, an automatic emergency lighting system, and fire exit signs and plans as required by the Engineering Institute of Thailand, he said. The cinema operator also did not use fireproof walls along fire exit paths and failed to ensure that smoke could not escape into fire exits in the event of a fire, he said.

The operator also failed to regularly inspect the fire pumps and hoses and did not comply with building control laws that require an annual inspection of the building, he said.

Jedkamchorn Phromyothi, president of Act, said the cinema was badly damaged because the interior decoration materials such as the carpets, curtains and soundproof pads were flammable.

Learning from this case, Act recommends state agencies responsible for inspecting buildings pay more attention to such materials in the facilities they are inspecting, said Mr Jedkamchorn.

Act will petition the Department of Public Works and Town and Country Planning of the Interior Ministry to inspect the interior decoration materials used in public buildings such as cinemas, hotels and other entertainment venues, he said.

Fireproof materials should be used in such buildings to mitigate the damage that may be caused by a fire. Owners should test the materials claimed to be fireproof before investing in them, he said.

Read original story here.

 

 

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Surprised Wolf | 04 August 2016 - 12:49:47

The President of the BTS should resign and all those government officials involved in providing the licenses necessary to operate should be investigated. 
How can such a building operate if the licenses and certificates are not in order. It is really pretty simple. Just close buildings down that do not provide or satisfy the requirements. And please do not say this is Thai way because it is nothing to be proud about. 

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malczx7r | 04 August 2016 - 11:21:53

Kurt

You'd like to think there is a law having inspections before being allowed to open in the first instance, who's going to be brought forward to say they signed the building off as safe?
But as always, nothing is enforced, no-one follows any rules, but it's not just here it happens in other countries too, but just not as bad as here.  It's also the incredibly poor electrical standards and the fact that it seems anyone can carry out work without being qualified in that field of works as well.  Look at the speed boat drivers, they've never had proper training!  The police can't ride their new motorbikes, they need training after they get them and accidents occur.  The concrete pillars at Jungceylon, who built those?? Minivan drivers and their reckless driving. Seems no forward thought is ever used only after thought!

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Kurt | 04 August 2016 - 09:26:01

Well, same thing as with the disco's and shops on and around Bangla Rd on Phuket.
Now, after the fire break out, many official departments are tumbling over each other to inspect the building AFTER the fire.
Telling us about the laws and the fines, and what was wrong.

But is there in Thailand not such by thai law that all these departments have to do PREVENTIVE inspections?
For the interest of thousands of customers visiting shopping centers, disco's and cinema's.

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