Colonel Trần Ngọc Dương, deputy director of Hà Nội Police Department. — Photo hanoimoi.com.vn
Colonel Trần Ngọc Dương, deputy director of Hà Nội Police Department, speaks to Hà Nội Mới (New Hà Nội) newspaper about fire prevention and fighting in the capital
Could you tell us about the fire situation in the city from the beginning of this year?
Hà Nội recorded 232 cases of fires in the first seven months of this year, with more than half of them occurring in residents’ private houses.
Most of the fire incidents - more than 60 per cent - were caused by electricity failures.
The fires left six people dead and 12 injured. Damages were estimated at more than VNĐ3.4 billion (US$146,009).
How have the Hà Nội Police carried out fire prevention and control in recent times?
More than 23,000 establishments are under the police management of fire prevention and fighting including high-rise buildings, apartment buildings, businesses, petrol stations, markets, trade centres and residential areas.
Homes, particularly those that are used for both living and trading, pose a high risk of fire because these houses often store many flammable things, which in some cases block fire exits.
Many houses do not have fire prevention and control and escape plans, leading to serious consequences when a fire occurs.
The city police have directed police in districts and towns to inspect the safety of fire prevention in more than 30,000 establishments.
Nearly 1,750 cases resulted in fines of a total of more than VNĐ11 billion. Dozens of establishments were suspended.
How do you evaluate the implementation of legal regulations on fire prevention and fighting in the city?
In general, the units have implemented directives and plans on strengthening fire prevention, fighting and rescue in the city well amid the complicated COVID-19 pandemic in the first six months of the year. So the number of fires and damages reduced, contributing to ensuring social order and security.
The propaganda campaigns for the entire population to participate in fire prevention, fighting and rescue have also been carried out in line with the actual situation, promoting the awareness of units and people about fire prevention.
More than 60 per cent of fires and incidents were detected and handled promptly by local forces and people.
Besides the results achieved, what are the shortcomings in State management and implementation of regulations on fire prevention and fighting in Hà Nội?
Legal documents and technical standards on fire prevention and fighting still have many shortcomings. Some standards are not suitable for reality.
The Department of Fire Prevention and Control, Rescue and Salvage under the Ministry of Public Security has worked with agencies to review and recommend to adjust regulations to suit reality and socio-economic development.
In addition, the awareness and responsibility of authorities in the wards, communes and towns are still limited. They are not really paying attention to State management of fire prevention and fighting in localities.
What will Hà Nội police do to improve fire prevention?
In addition to the periodic checks, city police will intensify the inspection of the implementation of the city's resolutions and plans in fire prevention.
The police will work closely with local authorities, especially People's Committee of wards and communes, to inspect manufacturers and service venues at elevated risks of fire and other important locations to improve the efficiency of fire prevention and fighting management.
Fire prevention and fighting police will organise more training courses to improve skills for officers and training courses on fire prevention and fighting knowledge and skills at residential areas to raise awareness. — VNS