Safety Monitoring in a Densely Populated Gosiwon Area
Date: November 22, 2011
Venue: Seonggwang Gosiwon in Noryangjin-dong, Dongjak-gu
Lee Il, chief of the Fire Department in Dongjak-gu: Approximately 5,300 people in this area live in gosiwons—a dormitory-type building with many small rooms for those studying for examinations for jobs in the civil service. Gwanak-gu has the most such residents, followed by Dongjak-gu. Dongjak has more than 450 gosiwon buildings. Living close to Noryangjin and home to numerous cram schools, most residents are students and office workers.
Mayor Park: Are they all young people?
Chief of the Fire Department: Ages range from 25 to 33. This area is concentrated and clustered with numerous gosiwon buildings, but its deteriorating roads and steep inclines are significant problems for us. Thus, our fire department is planning to acquire motorcycles and other types of vehicles that can pass through the narrow roads. In order to make it easier for us to go up slippery slopes in winter, related facilities have been installed and are monitored carefully.
Mayor Park: What if it snows?
Chief of the Fire Department: We spread salt on the roads. Also, in the event of a fire at night, when students are studying, we have a system that notifies them to evacuate the building, and our fire department has installed 92 fire-extinguishing facilities in the neighborhood, with five more in the nearby area. Using these, the residents can extinguish the fire themselves. Three such cases of fires extinguished by citizens have been reported in the Seoul area. Our fire department is planning to cooperate with the gu office on this matter.
Mayor Park: Sufficient preparations should be made before accidents happen.
Chief of the Fire Department: This is the type of smoke detector we use. When it detects smoke, it makes a sound loud enough to wake everyone up.
Mayor Park: Are they installed in every single room?
Chief of the Fire Department: Yes, they are.
Mayor Park: Fires are reported to the fire station immediately, correct?
Chief of the Fire Department: Yes, that’s right.
Mayor Park: Do you have the right information all the time?
Chief of the Fire Department: The young people here are fast enough to evacuate right away.
Chief of the Fire Department: Usually, the emergency exit is located on the opposite side of the building, and is used for evacuation only.
Mayor Park: This is very useful.
Chief of the Fire Department: All gosiwon buildings are equipped with it.
Mayor Park: Have you conducted an awareness campaign for students?
Chief of the Fire Department: The residents here are not temporary visitors, so they are all already aware of it.