Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - As a Puerto Vallarta realtor, a question I am often asked is "Why don't we see smoke detectors in Mexico?" I have to admit, you rarely see them here. I think there are a few factors that play into the absence of something we get so used to in other parts of the world:
The buildings are often made of cement and steel. Pretty hard to burn one of these down with a can of gas and a blow torch! So, it is my guess that the regulations here (for many reasons) don't require them. I could be wrong here, but if they are required, there are millions of violators!
Secondly, there is an explanation for every mystery that is a head-scratcher for people from other countries: "Because it's Mexico". Let's just say that culturally, it is different and unique here! It's both the beauty and bane of living here, but you really only have two choices: laugh or leave! Think of it a bit like owning a time machine - it's cool to visit a country where the sound of clapping hands means handmade tortillas, but you still get to have a cell phone. It's the best of both worlds!
So, in Mexico, smoke detectors are likely not required nor common, so you don't need one, right? What? Are you, crazy? Of course you should have smoke detectors! Maybe you can't burn a cement building down, but there are a million things that can smolder, catch fire, spread to your fabulous art and furniture and don't even get me started on the copious amounts of booze you stock!
As a friend says, "Don't leave your brain at the border!" Just because you get to reinvent yourself here doesn't mean you should reinvent yourself to look like a charcoal briquette some night! There's an example of how you can install a smoke detector with no screws on YouTube check it out!
What about keeping a small fire extinguisher handy somewhere? Don't EVEN get me started on that subject!John Swanson is a real estate and lifestyle expert at Boardwalk Realty PV. He is a long-term resident, homeowner and has raised his family here. He is a contributing writer for Banderas News and as a hobby, performs locally in the Texas Embassy Blues Band. You can contact him at john(at)boardwalkrealtypv.com, or visit his website on living in Puerto Vallarta at pvlifestyles.com.
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