In the wake of the London’s Grenfell tragedy, condominium residents are reminded of the unique logistics involved in emergency situations in high-rise buildings. The Grenfell blaze is a sobering reminder of the entirely different set of fire preparedness requirements for condominiums. Like Grenfell, condominiums in the Philippines are densely populated building with tenants in units far smaller than the average house. Authorities are quick to remind the public that a new brand of fire safety awareness has become necessary as more and more Filipinos forego traditional homes.
As traditional living spaces in the crowded metro grow scarcer by the day, more and more city-dwelling Filipinos are turning away from the sky-high costs of having to build their own house. To young professionals and even small families, high-rise condominiums offer an attractive and convenient alternative.
However, aesthetics and size are not the only things to be on the lookout for when buying a condo unit. Before handing over that down payment, let Malayan Insurance share the key features and amenities that savvy buyers will want to have in a condo.
Consider the location of your unit. Inspect if your unit faces a major road or highway, or if it the view is blocked by other nearby buildings. Keep in mind that a good view likely boosts the resale value of a unit. The level of your unit should also be a factor—unit owners in higher levels of buildings tend to enjoy less noise from neighbors and the street. On the other hand, units in lower levels are easier to exit in the event of an emergency.
Ensure that the building is up to code. The National Building Code requires that developers of buildings, including high-rise condominiums, check whether the location and load of the building could withstand certain disasters. For example, the law maintains that a building should only have a few cracks even after 7.5- to 8-magnitude earthquakes.
In case of fires, earthquakes, or other disasters, you can rely on Home Protect Plus by Malayan Insurance. It has extensive coverages that shield you against significant losses in the event of a fire. Its Special Assessment Clause is an exclusive extended cover for condominiums, giving you a safety net in case the building’s insurance is unable to cover damages to your unit. Home Protect Plus insures you for structural improvements, such as erecting divisions or repairing walls, in your condo unit. In the event of a fire or other natural calamities, the policy guarantees that you won’t have to shoulder the costs of repairs. It also has Valuable Items Protection cover. With additional premium, this shields you from losses if your declared valuable items, such as art and antiques, are damaged in case of a fire within the insured premises. To get your Home Protect Plus, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ask about storage space. You may not have the same luxury of space as with a typical house, so it is important that you learn if your building allots a storage area for each unit owner. It’s highly advisable to opt for condos that provide lockers or specially assigned storage spaces in the basement. Alternatively, you can rent a storage space monthly.
- Emergency exits
Evaluate the accessibility of emergency exits. Are the building’s emergency exits clearly marked and well-lit? Is the path leading to the exit and through it free of obstructions? Is there enough space for a group of people to move safely? If the answer to any of these questions is no, it raises a red flag on building safety.
- Emergency detectors
Check if your unit has functional smoke detectors and water sprinklers. There should be one smoke alarm outside each sleeping area, and one for each level of your unit. Meanwhile, effectively distributed water sprinkler heads are your best bet in containing and eliminating fires in limited spaces such as a condominium unit.
Your condo must haves are all about prevention because risk experts continue to emphasize that in emergencies, preparation and prevention are still the best ways to minimize injuries and loss of life. Take the steps to prepare your condominium against fires and other disasters, and you may end up saving yourself thousands of pesos in the future. More importantly, securing the right kind of insurance will help you and your loved ones get back on your feet quickly after an emergency.
When it comes to important investments like your home, insure to be sure. Malayan Insurance, the leading non-life insurer in the Philippines, can provide you the security and peace of mind that you and your family deserve. Visit www.malayan.com for more information about Home Protect Plus.
Drafted by Evelyn Morabe of PIAA
Edited by Kristina Relampagos and Paulo Juan of Malayan Insurance