Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Thousands of houses in Hà Nội still lack fire exits, according to an official from the Hà Nội Department of Fire Fighting and Prevention.
Some 120,000 out of 500,000 multi-storey tube houses in Hà Nội were found to not have fire exits, department director Hoàng Quốc Định said during a meeting with municipal authorities on Monday.
Fires that broke out at these houses often caused serious damage to property and resulted in loss of lives, he said.
In the most recent case, a fire occurred at a tube house in Hà Nội’s Xuân Mai District on Sunday, killing two people.
In the past nine months, Hà Nội recorded 626 fires, which killed 18 people and injured nine.
There is a high risk of fires breaking out in the city, particularly at old residential buildings, tube houses and cultural trade areas such as karaoke shops, bars and discotheques.
Secretary of Hà Nội Party Committee Hoàng Trung Hải said fire prevention and fighting tasks in Hà Nội remained ineffective, particularly at apartment buildings. In 2016, there were 831 fires, killing 19 people, an increase of 11 fatalities in comparison with 2015.
As of May 31, 79 apartment buildings in Hà Nội were found to not meet fire safety standards, after the Hà Nội Fire Prevention and Fighting Department conducted inspections at 8,000 high-rise buildings in the city.
Of the buildings found to be in violation of fire safety standards, 78 did not have fire safety certificates while one had not undergone a safety test. According to the department, many buildings that are considered luxury apartment blocks have fire safety issues.
Hà Đông District has the highest number of such buildings at 21, followed by Bắc Từ Liêm, Thanh Xuân and Hoàng Mai Districts with 10, 9 and 8, respectively.
Only 19 out of 79 buildings that were flouting rules have rectified violations, with drastic measures required to address fire safety issues at the remaining buildings, Hải said.
He urged relevant agencies to increase inspection in connection with fire prevention and control tasks at high risk areas.
Head of the municipal People’s Council’s Legal Department Nguyễn Hoài Nam said fire prevention and control continues to receive inadequate attention, even as residents’ skills in firefighting and escape remain poor, leading to serious consequences.
Nam proposed that the municipal People’s Committee define responsibilities of leaders of districts, communes and wards in case of a fire. — VNS