SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, April 13, 2018 – In a bid to make a safe city of Seoul, the Seoul Metropolitan Government makes closer cooperation with various sectors, such as construction, hospitals, accommodation businesses, and food service industries so that it is able to have regular safety inspections and prevent any accident at all times.
On April 12, Seoul Mayor Park Won-Soon met representatives from 14 organizations and groups to sign a cooperative agreement to beef up the safety culture throughout the city. They include six organizations that have far-reaching influences, such as the Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency’s Seoul Office, the Korea Construction Safety Association, and the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education.
The city government will also strengthen its own safety response capabilities. The disaster control tower “Safety Desk” has been newly created and is being operated under the auspices of the Vice Mayor II for Administrative Affairs.
Special police members for citizens’ livelihood and safety at the Seoul Metropolitan Government, and retired public officers and private experts who had worked in the fields of public works and disaster prevention will team up to inspect construction sites and facilities, and, if they detect any dangerous situation or safety violation occasion, they are able to take administrative measures.
They will inspect mainly construction sites that are at high risk of a falling accident in the second half of this year, and from the next year they will expand their inspection scope into facilities in the daily life, such as emergency exits, and electrical and gas facilities. 120 members will take this duty until the end of this year, and it will be increased up to 240 next year.
From this year, the results of the National Safety Inspection on multi-use facilities will also be released annually (around in April) on the website of the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the autonomous district offices.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government will have more focus on improving the emergency preparedness and response capacity particularly in case of fire. Accordingly, ten underground fire hydrants and 45 ordinary fire hydrants will be installed at places where fire trucks are difficult to enter or are at high risk of fire spreading, such as traditional markets and flophouses. The remote sensing system, which was originally introduced only in the field of fire, is extended to the electricity field, and it is pilot-installed in small-scale residential facilities for the disabled and traditional markets.
In addition, the city government will install an additional 3,092 fire extinguishers that can be easily found and used in the event of a fire. Currently, 16,917 fire extinguishers are installed in 576 fire-prone areas. The Wireless Fire Detection System, which utilizes the Internet of Things (IoT) to detect a 24-hour fire hazard and immediately report it to 119 (emergency call in Korea), will be installed in all markets and stores (530 markets, 60,000 stores) by 2022.
174 fire extinguisher holders will be installed in the 25 underground shopping malls under a jurisdiction of the Seoul Metropolitan Government by the end of next year in order to prevent fire shutters from not functioning due to piles of things in the passageway. Automatic fire extinguishers that solid aerosol is sprayed if heat is detected is now being installed at electricity rooms of 12 underground shopping malls. If the city government detects any case of piling up things in the passageway, it will take three-step administrative measures: 1) issue a warning notice; 2) inspect the site and levy penalties; and 3) cancel the contract.
Based on these contents, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will announce the plan to strengthen its safety management, and will urgently inject a total of 30.1 billion won ($ 28 million) this year. The plan will be implemented in four areas: 1) strengthen the function of the disaster and safety control tower; 2) prepare fire safety measures; 3) prepare construction site safety measures; and 4) strengthen the citizen’s ability to deal with crises and raise their awareness of safety. The Safe City Seoul Plan will contain all details on the plan, and be published in the second half of the year.