|Three people were killed after a fire on September 10 afternoon at an unit making bedclothes in Thanh Văn Commune, Thanh Oai District Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo|
After a number of devastating and fatal fires, many caused by electrical faults, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, has also conducted many activities to inspect and raise awareness of the business community, society and people on this issue. Tô Xuân Bảo, head of the Department of Industrial Safety and Environment Engineering under the Ministry of Industry and Trade talks to the Công thương (Industry and Trade) newspaper about the matter.
The recent karaoke bar fire in Bình Dương, which killed 32 people, has raised alarms about fire prevention and electrical safety. What are your thoughts on this issue?
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has strengthened solutions to ensure electrical safety, not only after the fire at the karaoke bar in Bình Dương. Electrical safety has always been a priority.
In the past, the departments of industry and trade of provinces and cities have issued plans and documents to implement and direct units to strictly implement the Prime Minister's Decision No. 630/QĐ-TTg and Directive 09/CT-BCT of the Ministry of Industry and Trade on promulgating the plan to implement the Resolution of the National Assembly on continuing to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of policies and laws on fire prevention and fighting.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has issued Document No. 3420/BCT-ATMT dated June 14, 2021 on the implementation of urgent solutions to ensure the safe use of electricity among the people.
Most of the local departments have carried out the work of guiding and coordinating with electricity companies of their localities to ensure the safety of fire prevention and fighting at establishments and households.
For chemical, petroleum and liquefied petroleum products trading establishments, departments of Industry and Trade will coordinate with provincial police, the people's committees of districts and cities to direct and guide the implementation of the law on planning fire prevention and fighting for these high-risk establishments.
Karaoke bars are a type of conditional business that falls under the authority of the police who are responsible to inspect and and grand fire prevention and safety certificates. Karaoke venues are electricity-using customers. According to the Electricity Law and other regulations, the electricity industry is responsible for providing electricity and ensuring safety. Of course, the responsibility for safety using electricity and following all the regulations also lies with the customers. In fact, the electricity industry has regularly provided information about safe electricity use in many different forms and assisted customers to check the electrical system.
What are the regulations for production and business establishments, including karaoke parlours?
According to reports by 36 departments of industry and trade, 18 departments of industry and trade have been coordinating with the people's committees of districts and provincial and municipal fire prevention and fighting police to organise, review and propose plans for relocation of warehouses, works for processing petroleum and gas products, and establishments dealing in dangerous goods and chemicals of fire and explosion out of residential areas, or places with high density of population to ensure fire safety.
In addition, the departments of industry and trade have directed and guided the production units to strictly comply with the regulations on safety in accordance with the conditions and characteristics of business and production establishments; conduct inspections of safety techniques in production at operating units, especially units with risks of occupational accidents such as those using chemicals, explosives, and industrial materials.
We have set up a fire prevention and fighting command committee, a part-time fire prevention and fighting team or a base depending on the size of each unit. The members of the Fire Prevention Command Committee and the Fire Prevention Team are trained and granted with certificates of fire prevention and fighting training in accordance with regulations. A hundred per cent of the members of the grassroots and specialised fire prevention and fighting teams and people working in dangerous and explosive environments are professionally trained.
Statistics show that, from 2017 up to now, units under corporations and companies in the industry and trade sector have organised more than 5,316 rescue classes and more than 354,327 people have been certificated.
From 2020 to now, in the complicated situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to traditional channels, units of the industry and trade sector have been organising online forms to provide information on the topic of "Safety and efficient use of electricity", to ensure the safety at business establishments, households, including karaoke bars.
The ministry also directs units to coordinate in rehearsing provincial-level fire fighting plans with the mobilisation of many forces and vehicles at many industrial and civil facilities.
In the future, what specific activities will the Ministry of Industry and Trade have to improve to raise the awareness and responsibilities of people, production and business establishments?
The Ministry of Industry and Trade will continue to deploy and guide units to strictly comply with regulations on fire prevention and fighting and rescue; strictly implement the motto "four on the spot"; mobilising local force and means; and consolidate and fine-tune policies and regimes in order to bring into full play these forces.
We will periodically check the quality and availability of systems, equipment, means and tools for fire prevention and rescue and make sure the units are fully equipped.
Regarding the direction of the Prime Minister, we will coordinate with relevant units and direct the Vietnam Electricity and its affiliated units to continue providing information to business establishments and customers who are using electricity in terms of safe, economical and efficient use of electricity, fire prevention and fighting, minimising the occurrence of unfortunate incidents. — VNS