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Local markets face fire risk during Tet festival

Update: December, 19/2013 - 09:51
In Dong Xuan market, for example, more than 70 per cent of 2,300 kiosks sell inflammable products, such as footwear, clothes and materials.— Photo anninhthudo

HA NOI (VNS)  — Markets in the city are facing a fire risk as a result of products being prepared and collected for the upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year) festival.

The municipal fire fighting and prevention police have issued an alert following a fire that broke out in a market in Cau Giay District on Monday, destroying nearly 40 kiosks that were selling clothes and shoes.

The markets at risk include large ones, such as Dong Xuan and Da markets in Hoan Kiem District and Hom market in Hai Ba Trung District, along with makeshift markets.

A large amount of products that have been transported to these markets to meet customers' demands during the Tet festival, together with the large number of people thronging the markets, have increased the fire risk.

This situation was noted by the head of the Ha Noi Fire Fighting and Prevention Police's Fire Prevention Office, Nguyen Tuan Anh, while talking with Cong an nhan dan (Public Securities) newspaper.

In many markets, products are encroaching on the walkways and even blocking emergency exits, while the kiosks are packed close together. This would help a fire to spread further and will also hinder fire fighters in their work, he said.

Inflammable materials also put the markets at risk. In Dong Xuan market, for example, more than 70 per cent of 2,300 kiosks sell inflammable products, such as footwear, clothes and materials.

People's negligence towards fire prevention also put the markets at risk. Many traders still cook or burn incense in high-risk areas or return home without turning off electric equipment.

Anh said the municipal fire fighting and prevention police have worked with local forces to regularly check fire prevention tasks in markets, particularly before and after the Tet festival.

In September this year, the Ha Noi fire fighting and prevention police made a 12-day inspection to monitor security guards working night shift in 10 markets and trade centres in the city.

Earlier, a massive blaze at a four-storey trade centre in northern Hai Duong Province caused VND500 billion (US$24 million) worth of damage. — VNS

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