Tuesday, October 25 2016


High rise fire safety still poor

Update: September, 12/2016 - 10:02
Thousands of lives have been put at risk due to many newly built high rise apartment blocks in Hà Nội that fail to meet fire safety standards. — Photo mangtinmoi.vn

HÀ NỘI — Thousands of lives have been put at risk due to many newly built high rise apartment blocks in Hà Nội that fail to meet fire safety standards.

Last month, the Hà Nội Department of Fire Prevention and Control released a list of 38 apartment buildings that are occupied, but do not meet fire safety regulations.

A majority of these buildings are located in Hoàng Mai and Hà Đông districts, which have nine and 14 buildings, respectively, that have not put in place proper fire safety standards.
Further, many investors and management offices were found to not be following government regulations on fire prevention and control, the department said.

The chairman of the People’s Committee has instructed the department to deal strictly with violations, yet these buildings have not completed installing their fire prevention systems, Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper reported.

Lưu Thị Tâm, head of the management board of the building located on No 18 Phạm Hùng Street in Nam Từ Liêm District, told the newspaper that the investor confirmed the lack of fire safety equipment in the building.

“People here will not buy an apartment if they are not sure about the safety of the fire system,” she said.

Many residents living in high rise buildings were surprised after learning that their apartment was listed as having inadequate fire safety prevention.

After hearing the department’s report, the local fire police inspected and dealt with the fire violations in a BMM resident building in Hà Đông District’s Phúc La Ward.

However, the fire prevention measures have not been improved in three years since the building opened, the newspaper reported.

Nguyễn Kim Dung, a resident living in Nguyễn Trãi Street, said that she intended to buy an apartment in Thăng Long Number 1 residential building in Thăng Long Boulevard, but she changed her mind after a fire occurred there.

“I liked the apartment very much after seeing many buildings in Hà Nội, but after hearing of a report from media about the fire there, I did not buy that apartment,” Dung said.

Residents in some 200 apartments in the building, located on 15-17 Ngọc Khánh Street of Ba Đình District’s Giảng Võ Ward, have to live with the risk of fire because the apartment still lacks a completed fire prevention system, though the building opened 10 years ago.

A local resident told a newspaper that residents have reported problems to the investor many times, but they remain unsolved.

The inspection team sometimes checked the system, but did not release any information to local residents, a tenant of the building said.

Also, after more than one month since the list was released, the investor, Thăng Long GTC Limited Company, has still not completed installing fire safety measures, the newspaper added.

Meanwhile, Nguyễn Kim Bình, the chairman of the local People’s Committee, said that the building had undergone fire safety examinations before residents moved in.

Further, Director of Hà Nội’s Fire Prevention and Control Department, Maj Gen Hoàng Quốc Định, told the newspaper that the reason for the fire safety violations was the increase in demand for residential apartments in the city and the lack of public awareness about fire safety.

Residents should pressure building investors to complete installing fire safety systems before they transfer the apartments to customers, Định said.

The department has regularly inspected building firefighting systems and strictly sanctioned violations.

The number of fires nationwide this year has fallen slightly, by 0.3 per cent, when compared with last year, according to statistics from the General Department of Fire Prevention and Control, Rescue and Salvage.

Meanwhile, the agencies will continue to carry out inspections and strictly deal with violations in high-rise buildings. At the same time, agencies will instruct the building management offices to remove existing shortcomings to ensure the safety of local residents. — VNS

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