Post Property was given exclusive access to yesterday’s fire drill at the Phnom Penh Tower on Monivong Boulevard. Overseen by property managerment company CBRE Cambodia, the fire drill, which is conducted twice a year, was a fine example of how fire safety should be implemented in Cambodia.
Currently there are no Cambodian laws enforcing building owners or developers to implement fire safety measures that meet international standards. However Phnom Penh Tower and CBRE Cambodia recognise the importance and value of implementing proper fire safety standards and hope that other developments and buildings will follow suit.
Simon Griffiths, Associate Director of CBRE Cambodia said that the fire drill took five to six weeks to plan, which included the briefing and training of tenant marshalls from each company within the building.
“Prior to the fire drill, we get the tenant marshalls together to go over fire evacuation procedures, including assembly points, the location of fire extinguishers, the different types of fires that can occur and how to communicate with their staff,” Mr Griffiths said.
“We find that most tenants are keen to be involved, especially as this is a relatively new practice in Cambodia,” he said.
Phonm Penh Tower is equipped fire safety features including a pressurised staircase, fire and heat detectors, smoke alarms and sprinklers, an alarm system and automatic release security doors.
According to Andre de Jong, managing director of Bosch, who offer fire detection and voice evacuation systems, research into human behavior in fire emergencies has shown that 13 per cent of people react to bells, 45 per cent of people react to text and 75 per cent of people react to voice. This demonstrates the importance of implementing modern evacuation systems that meet stringent international standards that will save lives and make buildings safer.
The fire drill ran smoothly with occupants exiting the building in a timely and safe manner to two nearby assembly points. The fire drill also included a demonstration on the proper use of fire extinguishers, which caught the eye of the general public on the street.
Staff in the building praised the initiative to keep themselves and their place of work safe. Thang Sary, HHP Channel Manager-Cambodia for Samsung Electronics spoke to Post Property outside the building during the drill and said that the fire drill was a positive experience.
“It is a good thing and let’s hope other buildings in Phnom Penh follow this standard,” he said.