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Ministries to examine fire safety in high-rise buildings

Update: April, 06/2018 - 15:45
Fumes come out of Carina Plaza apartment complex in District 8 in HCM City. The fire on March 23 killed 13 people. — VNA/VNS Photo Thành Chung
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — An inspection team consisting of officials from the ministries of construction and public security will examine fire safety measures in high buildings in seven major localities after April 15.

This was announced at a meeting in Hà Nội on Thursday between the Ministry of Construction (MoC) and Ministry of Public Security (MPS) on ensuring fire prevention in high-rise buildings.

Following numerous incidents of fire in the country in the past few months, MPS has ordered local fire prevention forces to conduct a major overhaul of fire prevention measures in high buildings (five storeys or above) nationwide before April 15, said Bùi Quang Việt, deputy director of MPS’s Department of Fire Prevention and Rescue (C66), at the meeting.

After April 15, the two ministries will form an interdisciplinary inspection team to cross-check fire safety measures in high buildings in seven major provinces and cities, he said.

Speaking about the 17 high buildings in Hà Nội whose structures are not in compliance with fire safety regulations but are already in use, Deputy Minister of Construction Lê Quang Hùng said they were “very complicated cases”. The inspection team will carefully examine and propose solutions for each one of them, he said.

Both Hùng and Việt said they would not “downgrade” fire safety regulations for those 17 buildings but would provide other measures to make up for their unsafe structures.

As for new constructions, Hùng said inspection authorities must conduct a thorough appraisal of their designs to make sure they complied with fire safety regulations before giving them building permits. “No ‘turning a blind eye’ for any of them,” he said.

Speaking on fire prevention and fighting measures in the country, Hùng said fire prevention forces had only been able to handle fire accidents case by case. There need to be more general measures that can be applied to different types of buildings, he said.

He ordered agencies under MoC to focus on reviewing and adjusting the current standards on fire safety for houses and constructions. MoC’s Housing and Real Estate Market Management Agency will conduct studies on the legality and legal entity responsible for the occurrence of fire accidents in apartment complexes, he said. — VNS

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