Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – After a fire in a karaoke bar in Hà Nội’s Cầu Giấy district killed 13 people last November, local officials knew they had to do something to prevent such nightmarish scenes.
Dịch Vọng Hậu Ward’s People’s Committee decided to set up a team of cyclists to travel through the area spreading information on fire prevention, so that the tragic incident on Trần Thái Tông Street wouldn’t be repeated.
Now, between 6.30am and 7pm every day, a group of young people ride bicycles around the district to remind locals of the importance of fire prevention.
With bicycles equipped with loudspeakers, they broadcast essential information on fire prevention to residents in every corner of the district.
They are also equipped with fire extinguishers to be ready to fight fires around the clock.
Since its establishment last December, the team has helped local firefighting police raise public awareness of fire prevention and control.
According to Chairman of Dịch Vọng Hậu Ward People’s Committee Nguyễn Quang Thắng, the deadly karaoke bar fire taught a painful lesson about the consequences of fire to authorities and local residents.
The volunteer firefighting team was established to strengthen local capacity in fire protection, he said.
Phan Thị Thu Hà, chief administrator of Cầu Giấy District’s People’s Committee, told Kinh tế và Đô thị (Economy and Urban Affairs) newspaper that everyday members of the team rode bicycles with loudspeakers to remind people to turn off electronic devices and close the valve of gas canisters for safety.
Their works has helped minimise the risk of fire, she said.
During Tết (Lunar New Year) festival, a fire occurred at a house in Nghĩa Đô District at about 7pm when its owner was away from home. After being informed of the fire, the team went to the house and forced open the door to get into the house and extinguish the fire.
A recent fire at a shop selling blankets and pillow on Xuân Thủy street was put out in quickly by the team. A representative from the Hà Nội Fire Prevention and Fighting Police said if the team had arrived five minutes later, the fire would have been catastrophic.
Head of the team, Đào Duy Vương, told An ninh TV (Public Security Television) that they had received a positive response from locals.
People were glad to be reminded of fire prevention tasks every day, he said.
Nguyễn Thị Xuân Hồng from Dịch Vọng Hậu Ward said this way of spreading information was very effective.
“It’s like an alarm. Whatever we are doing, we will stop and check fire safety when hearing the reminder from their loudspeaker,” she said.
“Prevention is better than cure. I think it is really good to regularly remind residents of fire prevention,” she added.
According to the Hà Nội Fire Prevention and Fighting Police, Hà Nội recorded 831 cases of fire in 2016, with 19 people dieing. - VNS