Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Almost 90 per cent of local markets in Hà Nội don’t meet fire safety standards.
Statistics released by the Fire-fighting Prevention and Control Police Department revealed only 35 of the 313 local markets were up to scratch.
The rest, according to the report, failed.
The data was compiled after a series of fires in the city in recent months. The latest blaze happened last Saturday in Quang Market in Thanh Trì District destroying 1,600 sq metres of kiosks causing an of billions of đồng worth of damage.
It was allegedly started when a kiosk owner burnt incense in the shop to mark full-moon day following the lunar calendar.
In the markets failing to meet the standards, many of them were found to be lacking fire-fighting equipment.
One market in Đống Đa District’s Ngã Tư Sở area is very close to a petrol station.
And despite being packed with kiosks, officials found few fire extinguishers on the site, the Lao Động (Labour) newspaper reported.
Many owners of clothing kiosks also put a small altar in their narrow shops that could pose a high risk of fire because clothing is considered as flammable material.
The same situation also happened in Phùng Khoang Market in Nam Từ Liêm District. A lot of kiosks, especially, clothing kiosks operate there but there was a severe lack of fire-fighting and safety equipment.
Causes and solutions
The newspaper claimed some small traders who own kiosks don’t take fire regulations seriously.
Lawyer Đặng Văn Cường, of the Hà Nội Bar Association said a series of regulations on fire-fighting prevention and control in the Decree No 79/2014/NĐ-CP issued by the Government in 2014, are often ignored.
According to Cường, a kiosk’s owner who burns incense, does not have safety equipment and causes a fire hazard could be fined and suspended from doing business.
Hoàng Quốc Định, head of the department said the markets’ management board should conduct more inspections to force the kiosks’ owners to seriously obey the regulations on fire-fighting prevention and control.
They also had to re-check fire-fighting systems, including fire hydrants, and report to authorised agencies if any problem were uncovered, he added.
Đào Ngọc Nghiêm, vice chairman of the Hà Nội Association for Urban Planning and Development, said recently that fires not only occurred in local markets but also in apartment buildings.
Authorised agencies were asked to tighten controls to force both individuals and organisations to seriously implement regulations on fire- fighting prevention and control in the city.—VNS