SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, December 22, 2020 — The Seoul Metropolitan Government has selected 480 buildings vulnerable to fire through a comprehensive inspection of 24,592 venues, including multi-use facilities and places used by the weak persons in a disaster, such as medical facilities, daycare centers, and Goshiwon (dormitory-style single housing facility), which can cause massive casualties in case of fire. The selected structures refer to the buildings without sprinklers while applying inflammable exterior building materials.
The city government provides a temporal budget for the construction to improve fire safety performance for the 480 buildings for two years until December 2022. The subsidy per building amounts up to KRW 26 million, so KRW 12.4 billion in total from the national and the capital coffers will be allocated.
The construction for improving fire safety performance is in accordance with the Building Management Act, which became effective this May. According to the Act, local governments shall notify building managers that the buildings are subject to the reinforcement construction and provide part of the construction cost.
The facilities used by the weak in the disaster and multi-use businesses must complete reinforcing the fire safety performance by 2022. Building managers who violate the Act can face up to one year in prison or KRW 10 million in fines.
For the reinforcement construction, proper reinforcing methods must be applied by replacing the inflammable exterior materials vulnerable to fire with noncombustible materials or installing sprinklers, depending on the buildings’ structural shape.
Kim Seong-bo, Deputy Mayor for Housing & Architecture Headquarters at the Seoul Metropolitan Government, said, “While strengthening the fire safety standard for newly-built buildings, we will actively provide the public support for existing structures vulnerable to fire to promote a fire-safe environment.”