|Firefighters stamp out a fire in HCM City. There is a high risk of fire and explosions during the upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, according to the Department of Fire Prevention and Control, Rescue and Salvage. — Photo baotainguyenmoitruong.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — There is a high risk of fire and explosions during the upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, according to the Department of Fire Prevention and Control, Rescue and Salvage.
The warning comes after a series of blazes at markets and apartment buildings nationwide over the past year including serious blasts at Phu Ly Market in northern Ha Nam Province, Cau Ong Lanh Market in HCM City's District 1, Ha Noi-based Quang Minh industrial park and block CT4A of Xa La apartment buildings in Ha Noi's Ha Dong District.
According to the department, the incidents were caused by low levels of humidity which makes materials dry and makes them a fire hazard.
In addition, traders burned votive paper at markets, which is also a fire risk.
Ha Noi is home to many big markets. The municipal People's Committee has directed the Fire Prevention and Fighting Police Department to check fire prevention measures of all markets in the city.
The department will co-operate with local people's committees to suspend the operation of markets where fire safety is not ensured.
To Xuan Thieu, deputy director of the city's Fire Prevention and Fighting Police Department, said that locals and enterprises must raise their fire safety awareness.
He said that owners of production bases and investors and management boards of apartment quarters must maintain fire prevention measures and equipment regularly.
To prepare for Tet, HCM City's Fire Prevention and Fighting Police Department have launched a hotline at (08)-39200996.
The city also published personal telephone numbers of two deputy directors of the department as well as 30 heads and deputy heads of units under the department.
Statistics from the Department of Fire Prevention and Control, Rescue and Salvage showed that last year, there were nearly 2,800 blazes across the country, killing 62 people and injuring 264 people. Total damaged property was up to VND1.5billion (US$66,700).
More safety checks
Meanwhile, in HCM City, the municipal Fire Fighting and Prevention Police Department also plans to conduct more fire-safety inspections at enterprises this year.
"For the upcoming Lunar New Year, the department strongly recommends that every resident, organisation and enterprise become more vigilant about fire threats," the department's director Colonel Le Tan Buu said.
About 1,650 accidents occurred last year because of fires, explosions and rescue events in HCM City, with eight deaths and 46 injuries.
Firefighters rescued 117 people and discovered the bodies of 53 people who had died during the accidents.
Electrical faults were the main cause for 83 per cent of residential fires, which represented 50 per cent of all fires.
"The number of big fires was small. Ninety-five per cent of property losses were private residential fires," Colonel Buu said.
Last year, the department organised 2,200 firefighting and prevention training courses for nearly 65,000 people, and assisted local authorities to set up more 461 local fire fighting and prevention teams with 8,000 members.
The department also conducted fire-prevention investigations at nearly 80,000 organisations, enterprises, apartments and residential areas. They found that half of them were in danger of explosions or fires.
Inspectors found over 9,550 violations and handed out 8,345 fines totalling VND10 billion (US$460,000). Four of the inspected locations were permanently closed, seven were suspended and 33 were given warnings. — VNS