Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Demand for firefighting equipment has risen in recent years, especially after several high-rise fires, but quality equipment has been hard to come by according to some.
Hoàng Văn Trường, a resident in Xa La Apartment Building in Hà Nội’s Hà Đông District, had a bad experience buying firefighting equipment three months ago.
Trường bought fire extinguishers and a smoke mask for more than VNĐ2 million (US$86.9) at a shop on Nguyễn Trãi Street. When he tried the smoke mask on and found it hard to breathe, he returned to the shop to exchange it.
But his request was denied.
Trường said the shop owner blamed him for not checking the products before paying for it.
Nguyễn Đặng Hải, resident in Hoà Bình Green City Apartment Building in Hai Bà Trưng District, said people, especially high-rise residents like him, could spend tens of millions of đồng on firefighting equipment for emergency situations.
“Human life comes first,” Hải said. “The purchase of good-quality fire prevention and firefighting equipment for my family is a top concern but fake products are circulating on the market”.
We need specific guidance from the authorities.”
On Nguyễn Du Street, dozens of fire prevention and fighting equipment shops have been seen selling smoke masks, fire extinguishers and many other types of fire extinguishers.
Mini fire extinguishers are sold at between VNĐ75,000-90,000 ($3.2-3.9), powder fire extinguishers at VNĐ140,000-400,000 ($6.08-17.3), and carbon dioxide fire extinguishers at VNĐ350,000-520,000 ($15.2-22.6) each. Fire ball extinguishers – a spherical ball filled with firefighting equipment – are sold at VNĐ400,000 ($17.3) each.
Most lack quality certification stamps or guidance in Vietnamese.
Đỗ Thái Sơn of Hà Nội Police Department’s Fire Prevention and Fighting and Rescue Office told Hà Nội Mới (New Hà Nội) newspaper that products without quality stamps were counterfeit. The real value of such products were one fourth of the selling price.
Worse, they don’t always help stamp out fires, he said.
Lieutenant Colonel Tô Hồng Nho, deputy head of Hà Nội Police Department’s Fire Prevention and Fighting and Rescue Office, said the market for firefighting equipment was very diversified with many different products.
As a rule, all firefighting equipment must be tested for safety by authorised agencies. They must have inspection stamps and origin certificates.
Nho said to avoid buying poor quality or counterfeit equipment, people should purchase equipment at shops recommended by the city’s Police Department.
Senior Lieutenant Colonel Phạm Trung Hiếu, head of the Fire Prevention and Fighting and Rescue Office, said that there were an abundance of cheap and low quality products on the market.
The office plans to work with the market watchdog from the city’s Department of Industry and Trade to inspect all fire prevention and fighting equipment firms in the city.
Violators would be strictly handled, he said.
People should choose the appropriate firefighting and prevention equipment to ensure safety for themselves and their families, he added. — VNS