|Last year, there were 295 fires in the city, 50 per cent fewer than the previous year. — Photo vietpress
HCM CITY (VNS) — Offices, organizations, stores, trade centres and households should be cautious when using electricity, especially during the upcoming Tet holiday, the city fire chief warned.
Speaking to the media on Friday, Colonel Le Tan Buu, chief of HCM City's Firefighting and Prevention Police Department, said electricity causes 48 per cent of fires in households, and caused 50 per cent of all fires in 2014.
Last year, there were 295 fires in the city, 50 per cent fewer than the previous year, in which 31 people were killed and 34 others were injured, with total property losses of VND45 billion (US$2 million). There were also six explosions and 112 rescue missions.
In order to increase efficiency in fire prevention, the department will strengthen local firefighting forces' abilities, and work more closely with electricity companies.
"We have worked closed with the city's electricit y company to check the safety of electrical grids," said Senior Lieutenant Colonel Huynh Ngoc Quang, head of the department's Fire Prevention Bureau. "However, there is a lot of electrical equipment, especially illegally imported from China, that is not safe. This year we will submit rules for controlling the quality of electrical equipment."
Billboards have caused a substantial amount of electrical fires, Quang said. Most billboards violate advertisement laws, which state how large they can be and how to safely install them.
In related news, hundreds of firefighters were deployed on Saturday to stop a fire that broke out at a cotton factory on Mieu Binh Dong Street in Binh Tan District. Electricity was suspected to have caused the fire. No injuries were recorded.
Also yesterday, there was a traffic jam on Chanh Hung Bridge after a fire broke out at a house on Dao Cam Moc Street, Ward 5, District 8. The gridlock was caused by curious passers-by, who stopped to watch the fire. It broke out at noon on the second floor of the house. No injuries were recorded, and the cause of the fire was not immediately identified. — VNS