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‘Dryvit’ method suspected as cause of instant spread in Uijeongbu fire

‘Dryvit’ method suspected as cause of instant spread in Uijeongbu fire

Posted January. 13, 2015 07:11,   


Samsung Techwin has signed a contract to supply around 800,000 smart home security cameras (see photo) with AT&T, the largest communications service provider in the U.S., and Securitas Direct, a European home security service provider, the company said on Monday.

For the next three years, Samsung Techwin will provide more than 300,000 security cameras to AT&T and 500,000 to Securities Direct. Samsung Techwin’s home securities cameras allow smart home monitoring based on Internet of Things technology.

The global video monitoring market is expected to grow from approximately 1.7 trillion won (1.57 billion U.S. dollars) last year to about 25 trillion won (23 billion dollars) in 2017. Samsung Techwin has a goal of topping the world’s video monitoring network market.

“We plan to increase the product line-up amid consumers’ recent growing interest in smart home services,” a s Many experts say that the fire that broke out on the first floor of an apartment building in Uijeongbu, Gyeonggi Province, instantly spread to higher levels because the building was constructed by adopting the "dryvit" method. This method entails the application of urethane foam or Styrofoam on the exterior wall of a building before applying cement mortar or other finish materials. The method is preferred by building owners, because it is cheaper by more than 50 percent than the use of stone to finish the exterior wall, and the construction period can be cut nearly in half. In fact, this method is more widely used for buildings designed for unique exterior looks, including lodging facilities, wedding halls or studio apartment buildings, rather than those for housing.

In a 2010 experiment, the Korea Institute of Construction Technology tried to set fire to inside of wall measuring three meters wide and six meters long after installing exterior material by using dryvit method, to find that the wall caught fire in a matter of just 90 seconds. The fire completely engulfed the exterior wall in four minutes, with intense flames reaching as high as six meters, generating black toxic gas. The situation was a copycat of Saturday’s fire in Uijeongbu.

Shin Hyeon-joon, a senior researcher at KICT, said on Monday, “It is a dangerous material because it easily catches fire, and generates highly toxic gas. When burning in fire, it causes massive dust, and a person who inhaled smoke could suffer damage in the lung.”

Soon after the eruption of the Uijeongbu fire, the Public Safety and Security Ministry vowed to start a campaign to crack down on the use of exterior materials that are susceptible to fire. Prior to Monday`s urgent briefing on pending issues at the parliamentary committee on Security and Public Administration, the ministry said it would toughen standards for exterior finish materials of buildings as a follow-on measure for the fire disaster in Uijeongbu apartment building. The ministry plans to oblige building owners and builders to use fire retardant materials, irrespective of the building’s height or use, when installing insulation material on the exterior wall. Under the current law, no regulation obliges the builder or building owner to use fire retardant material, except in high-rise buildings, factory buildings and facilities used by the public within commercial districts.