By Yas Ocampo
Davao City – Inexpensive glow-in-the-dark signs could have prevented the death of 38 employees who were trapped in the thick smoke that engulfed the NCCC Mall which caught fire last December 23.
This was pointed out by Davao City councilor Ma. Belen Acosta, chairman of the city council’s committee on peace and public safety, as she submitted a proposed measure that will require establishments to install glow-in-the-dark signs leading to emergency exits that will be visible through thick smoke.
“The recent incidents have shown that Davao City needs to be proactive in implementing disaster-preventive measures,” Acosta said.
She pointed out that the measure could help save lives in cases of fires, after several witnesses reported the fourth floor of the mall being surrounded by smoke in the initial moments of the fire.
“The loss of lives, properties and livelihood should be actively addressed not only during disaster and emergency situations but continuously throughout the year,” Acosta added.
She likewise noted that “many countries have already begun the use of photo-luminescent or glow-in-the-dark paint to guide persons to emergency exits and other possible means of egress, especially when the power goes out.”
The option, she said, was electricity-free, requires minimal maintenance, longer lasting, and can illuminate a wider area than regular emergency lights.
Once approved, the proposed ordinance would require establishments such as malls to install the glow-in-the-dark paint signs leading to stairwells, pathways, and all available emergency exits.