Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – The Law Division of Hà Nội People’s Council has asked districts to force residents living in old apartment buildings to remove iron cages installed on balconies to create emergency exits.
Known as a ‘tiger cage’ or ‘bird’s nest’, they were installed to give extra living space inside.
But they reportedly block routes for firefighters in the event of the blaze and hamper rescue attempts.
According to the Hà Nội Department of Construction, the city has 1,579 old buildings, mostly built between 1960 and 1992, and five resettlement buildings built before 2001.
Nguyễn Chí Dũng, deputy director of the department, said it was very difficult to handle the issue because most of them were degraded, interfering with structural measures leading to danger, meaning in the short term, temporary measures are required.
In Hai Bà Trưng District, hundreds of old buildings are degraded, lack fire alarms and fire extinguishers, the Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper reported.
Most of apartments have cages, in some cases to enlarge their living area.
In addition, the roads leading to the buildings are often blocked by vehicles, making it hard for fire trucks to attend incidents.
Nguyễn Hoài Nam, head of the Law Division, said local authorities should hold talks with apartment’s owners to ask them to equip firefighting devices and remove the iron cages.
He also asked the localities to clear encroached areas in old apartment buildings to allow firefighters to gain access. — VNS