HA NOI - Increased scrutiny of fire-prone areas such as houses, apartment buildings and markets began in the middle of the month in an effort to reduce the number of preventable fires across the country.
Ha Noi is among the first cities to be scrutinised under the campaign.
After preliminary investigations, many reasons have been given for the high number of fires, such as the violations of building regulations, and fire exits and electrical equipment not meeting safety standards.
Fire fighting forces have also struggled to deal with large fires, and several urban areas and resettlement zones have not been properly equipped with effective strategies to fight fire.
Fire fighters have struggled with major fires and will punish those infringing fire prevention standards, according to lieutenant general To Thuong, director-general of the General Department number 7 in the Ministry of Public Security.
According to colonel Tran Ngoc Duong, Ha Noi has a large number of buildings, with about 2,000 apartments.
He also added the Hanoi fire department will demand investors and building administration groups fix old facilities, which pose a high fire risk.
In Ha Noi, a recent fire broke out in a 21-storey apartment building in Nguyen Chi Thanh street. Fortunately no injuries or deaths occurred, but since July last year, about 150 fires have broken out, killing 12, injuring 14 and causing more than VND10 billion (US$500,000) in damages.- VNS