In recent years, residents in the metro have shifted their preference towards condominiums, given the rising cost of limited house and lots and the need for proximity to business districts. However, recent natural disasters like flooding, earthquake, etc have caused worries to condo dwellers about their safety.
Philippines has been tried and tested by numerous disasters, from super typhoon Yolanda to Pablo. Being located along the Pacific Ring of Fire, earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters are no stranger to most Filipinos. With this, most homeowners find safety extremely important in choosing their abode.
If you are looking at high-rise or condo structures to live in, you have to check more than aesthetics and size. Considering the calamities the country faced, most condominium buyers should look for condo in the Philippines which have invested on disaster prevention and sustainability. Here’s a guide to help you choose the right condominium to keep you safe from any natural disaster.
1. Check Your Unit Well
Look for existing cracks and functioning elevators. The hallways should be spacious enough to fit at least three people in cases of fire drills or running to the fire exits. Look for smoke detectors, sprinklers, and if possible, choose a unit not higher than the 12th floor.
If you know any inspector, have them inspect your prospect unit because this is the best way for you to know what’s wrong about your unit safety-wise. Otherwise, you could ask around other condo dwellers regarding safety issues within the residential building.
2. Know The Location
Check the map whether the condominium building is located in places like Marikina which lies on the fault line and those which are prone to floods. If the condominium lies on these places, you must do another check on the strength and worth of the condominium. If these are high-rise buildings, these should be closely monitored during earthquakes. To help more condo residents become prepared and earthquake-smart, DMCI Homes built an earthquake resistant condominium, now known as Lumiere Residences along Shaw Boulevard in Pasig City. On the other hand, floods may make parking lots and basements a lake for you without proper drainage systems within the area.
3. Functional Features Are A Must
Functional features include smoke detectors, fire exits, sprinklers, fire extinguishers, safety reminders, emergency lights, and the like. If your condominium lacks any one of these, this is a sign to cross this option off your list.
4. Do A Background Check On The Developer
The developers are the makers of the building you are opting to live in, so doing a background check on the previous buildings they have built is a must. Choosing a condominium that is fit for your preference, you should start off with what friends say or reviews published online and on print. One failed review about a calamity or disaster should be a ringer and must be considered.
5. Have Regular Fire Drills
Check the condo whether they have fire or earthquake drills every year. Ask the administration whether they spread news or updates on the weather bulletin for natural calamities. This should be part of every condo safety systems along with the smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and an in-house engineer. The national government also has a big role in these drills, the local government must have a regular monitoring scheduled to check out building violations and those prone to destruction.
6. Look For Safety Reminders
Always look for safety reminders within the building. It is better to have the condominium administration to assume that everyone is not prepared for any accident than to assume that everyone is prepared that they fail to put on the significant signs for danger and other functional features.
7. Energy Efficient And Ecological Innovations
With the issues surrounding climate change, we need energy-efficient innovations to help better our environment as we pursue technological and structural advancements. Don’t just look for solar-powered technology or gadgets, look at the balance between modern lifestyle and an ecological environment. Ask if they have options for vertical gardens or if they are strict with seeing greens within the building. DMCI’s Flair Towers offer Lumiventt Design Technology which focuses on designs that make use of natural light and fresh air for all units.
8. Is The Plumbing Okay?
First of all, you do not want a flooded unit, right? Ask about the plumbing system. If you could, ask around if the existing condo owners have problems about plumbing or look into the internet about the developer and issues that surround the plumbing system. Do an ocular inspection of the building and look for molds or water spots in the ceiling.
9. Structural Soundness Certification
Know your laws, especially the National Building Code which contains the requirements and legalities in constructing buildings, including condominiums. Also known as the Presidential Decree No. 1096, it requires developers to check whether the location and the load of the building could withstand earthquakes with intensities of 7.5 to 8 and just show a few cracks.
How do you know this? Look for the building permit. Building permits are passed by local government units which cover sanitation, health, and fire standards.
Once you’ve chosen your unit based on this guide, you must work on your personal safety guide. Study the floor map of your unit, fire exits, stairs, fire extinguishers, and emergency lights. Work on your home’s personal safety measures, have your own emergency lights, fire extinguisher, and important documents. Plan a fire drill for your family or for yourself. Have your keys close to the door in case of emergencies.
Other than having these functional features, you may avoid having fire by simply working on fire preventive measures. Unplug all appliances, put candles away from materials which could burn easily, don’t leave your pot unattended on an open grill, and don’t play with fire. Go for energy-efficient appliances and technology, make use of natural light and fresh air like that of Lumiventt Design Technology from DMCI Homes.