September 26, 2022

How safe is your house?

As a rule, building houses and structures should conform to the minimum construction standards to ensure its integrity and safety of those who will be using it.

The Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said these minimum requirements are provided in the National Building Code and the National Structural Code of the Philippines which building owners should meet and which it recommends for local government units should to follow to make structures safe, compliant, and resilient for any disaster.

Dr. Rhommel Grutas, supervising science research specialist of the DOST-Phivolcs, said the agency has developed the “How safe is my house?” self-check for earthquake safety of concrete hollow block (CHB) houses in the Philippines mobile application for android users.

Released in April, the app provides a simple and easy-to-use tool for owners and occupants of residential houses and other one to two-story CHB buildings.

“Large structures, of course, need to comply with the building permit requirement, but how about residential structures, whose owners usually do not submit to. This app provides a checklist to assess how safe is one’s house once it is already put up,” Grutas said.

He said the mobile app can be downloaded from Google Play Store and once downloaded, just follow and answer the checklist, which has 12 points. If one gets a perfect score, it means the house is safe for a certain level of earthquake, and if not, the app will provide recommendations to strengthen their houses. The How Safe is my House app is downloadable for free or through tiny.cc/HSIMH. – Hanna C. Lacsamana