Experts push for dual-purpose grilles: Safety and easy escape

Calls grow for mandatory grilles in tall buildings

WALA ABDUL MUIZ
WALA ABDUL MUIZ
21 May 2024 07:02am
Photo for illustration purpose only. Photo by 123RF
Photo for illustration purpose only. Photo by 123RF
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SHAH ALAM - Experts urge traditional grilles to be designed for both safety and emergency convenience.

The call follows numerous incidents where children have fallen from high-rise building balconies and windows.

Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) President Chan Ai Cheng stressed not only the traditional grilles but also other methods using window arm locks as long as they serve the same purpose, which limits the opening size of windows.

"These safety measures are crucial in residences with children, but it's essential that grilles allow for quick escapes in emergencies," Chan told Sinar Daily.

She also suggested using Aesthetic Modern design grilles, which provide unobstructed views and a minimalist look, aligning with modern architectural preferences.

Addressing the reluctance to install grilles, Chan cited cost and potential hazards during emergencies, such as fires, as major deterrents.

"High-quality grilles are costly, and there's a risk they might hinder emergency exits.

"Our focus is on warning, deterring, and preventing potential dangers, although we can never guarantee absolute safety," Chan said, highlighting the necessity of preparing for unforeseen circumstances.

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In a related matter, International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI) President Datuk Firdaus Musa also commented on the importance of grilles for both safety and security in high-rise buildings.

"They prevent falls and improve security by deterring unauthorised access and burglary," he said.

Firdaus acknowledged resistance to grille installation, often due to costs and aesthetic concerns, especially in rental properties.

"However, grilles can impact the property's aesthetics," he added.

He also revealed that the Housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT) is considering policy changes to mandate grille installation in tall buildings to enhance resident safety.

Firdaus called on Public Servants Housing Malaysia (PPA1M) and other entities to promote grille safety awareness through public service announcements, articles, and broader media engagement.