Phnom Penh Fire Code + Locks

Yesterday’s fire at Toul Sangke Market reminded me of my abandoned hunt for a fire code: any ideas? “Neth Vantha, director of the Phnom Penh Fire Department, said the fire totally destroyed 13 homes and 20 shops in Tuol Sangke commune, home to the Phsar Touch market area, but did not claim any casualties.” Phnom Penh Post

Something I find slightly unnerving is the extremely common practice of locking apartments from the inside and at night locking the ground floor gate with a padlock (to secure motos, bikes, cars, and shop goods). Two, sometimes three, keys are needed to get out of a building. Coupled with barred windows and steep, uneven stairs this seems unideal if you need to get out in a hurry:  fire or other emergency.

Sometimes there is a security guard who locks and unlocks the front gate as need upon arrival/departure. Sometimes residents also get a key to the gate, but often, such as at my previous apartment, you are at the mercy of the guard to let you in/out. If he’s fallen asleep then you pound on the gate and wait.

If there is no security guard, typical for the shophouses, then usually hand-sized holes are cut into the gates so that you can reach through with the keys and unlock the padlock on the other side… and hope that you don’t drop your keys through the locked gate.

Ground Floor Gate Exterior Hand Hole

Locked In

Ground Floor Gate Interior

Locked In

Apartment Exterior Lock

Locked In

Apartment Interior Lock

Locked In

Apartment Gate

Locked In

Barred Windows

New Apartment

Barred Windows

New Apartment

Balcony Lock Interior

Locked In

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