Tuesday, April 7, 2009

safety vs. security

b.a. is dangerous but it's not the danger you're thinking of. sure, with every city there are pickpocketing, muggings and that sort of thing. thank god i haven't experienced this side of b.a. but i am seeing the other dangers every day. the dangers you may not see notice right away.

the buildings
i'll just lay it out for you. no fire detectors, no sprinkler systems, no fire escapes, 1st & 2nd floors have bars on the windows, fireplaces / grills on the rooftops and you need a key to get out of the building (the front door is always locked from both the inside and out). I also have to light my stove and oven with a match every time I use it.

yes, freaks me out too, but i'm starting to get use to it. all buildings in buenos aires are built with brick and concrete. all walls are brick and all floors are cement. supposedly they don't burn as fast? also there is a building code that requires all floors to have a fire extinguisher.

as for the lobby door always being locked and needing a key to get out, i asked an argentine friend about this. it seems like this feature goes between security and safety where security is the winner. the thought is that if you live in the building (have a key) you won't let anyone into the building that isn't suppose to be there. also, it forces you to walk people down and let them out of the building so that you can secure the door.

many of the apartment buildings have beautiful terraces on top. on the terrace there is a place to make asado (bbq). but the place where you make asado isn't contained, it's rather an open fireplace/oven where you burn wood...did i mention that it's not really a pit where you put the fire but rather a shelf.

what if the wind takes an ember away, what if an ember falls on the roof and no one notices? (my american side speaking)

(photo below: asado (bbq) that can be found on many rooftops throughout the city. (image from http://asadosargentinos.blogspot.com/))


krebiz said...

I've talked about that with friends here, because I lived on the first floor, behind bars, and the door was barred, so that required a key. I didn't even think about it until after I moved into that apartment, then thought, "hmmmm, people here worry more about crime than dying by fire."
However, the grand (GRAND) majority of people do not die by house fire. The odds are on your side.

yillabean said...

true true...it seems like b.a. folks also worry more about crime than dying by fire too, however i haven't read any statistics on the matter to see what my odds are.

Jim said...

My nice Canon Powershot was slickly pickpocketed on a very crowded subway last Monday. I've learned. Do not wear your camera on your belt no matter how secure you think it is.