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Apartment carpark fires highlight safety risks

Update: June, 07/2013 - 10:15
A basement blaze burned more than 30 motorbikes in Dong Da District's Cat Linh Ward on Wednesday. Lack of fire regulations and extinguishers have posed high risks for residents living in old apartments. — Photo

HA NOI (VNS)— A basement blaze burned more than 30 motorbikes in Dong Da District's Cat Linh Ward on Wednesday, spotlighting the lack of fire regulations in old residential areas.

Because the fire was discovered late and the small fire extinguishers did not work effectively, all of the motorbikes were burnt within one hour, the guard of the Cat Linh parking area said.

The Cat Linh police continue to investigate the cause of the fire. But Vu Ngoc Dam, head of the Ha Noi Department of Construction's Housing Development Division, blamed the incident on the lack of detailed fire regulations.

"We have dozens of regulations for newly built residential quarters, but none for the old ones, even though there must be thousands," said Dam.

Today, when a new residential quarter opens, a maintenance fund is set up and a management board is appointed with clearly regulated responsibilities.

But older apartments, built about 40 years ago, lack these regulations.

"Moreover, guards in the parking places of old residential quarters have never received any training in firefighting, so they would be very embarrassed if a fire broke out," Dam said.

He proposed relevant agencies and local authorities inspect parking places in those areas to ensure that they had adequate firefighting equipment and electricity, and also suggested that firefighting teams be set up to train local youth and other community members. — VNS

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