A fire-prevention inspection at a factory at Việt Hương Industrial Park in Bình Dương Province’s Thuận An District. — VNS File Photo Ngọc Khoa
HCM CITY — As many as 12 industrial fires have occurred at wood processing factories in HCM City and the neighbouring province of Bình Dương this year, causing major losses of tens billion of Vietnamese đồng and hundreds of jobs.
HCM City and the southern province of Bình Dương are in the dry season when factories, including garment, footwear, food processing and wood-processing factories, encounter fire risks.
According to the Bình Dương Police’s Fire Prevention, Fighting and Rescue Division (PC07), the wood processing factories discharge large volumes of sawdust which can cause fires.
Most of the outdated production and processing lines at the wood processing factories are hindering fire prevention and fire fighting activities, said a spokesman for Bình Dương Police’s Fire Prevention, Fighting and Rescue Division.
A fire that broke out on January 22 at the paint warehouse of the Wanek Furniture Company Ltd in Bình Dương Province’s Thủ Dầu Một Town destroyed a 2,000sq.m warehouse.
Two days earlier, another fire destroyed a wood-processing factory located on National Highway No 50 in HCM City’s Bình Chánh District.
In the first two months of this year, six fires were reported in Bình Dương Province, three of which occurred at wood-processing factories, causing damages of nearly VNĐ20 billion (about US$900,000), according to Bình Dương Fire Combating police force.
Lack of awareness about the importance of following fire prevention and fighting regulations is the main reason behind fire risks, the force said.
To minimise fire risks, a number of agencies in Bình Dương have launched a fire prevention and combating training course for employees at production and processing factories located in residential areas in Bình Dương.
The Bình Dương Fire Combating Police Division has also checked fire prevention and safety measures at 1,125 factories and workshops, and has imposed fines of over VNĐ1.5 billion (nearly US$65,000) on 154 violators of fire prevention regulations.
Bình Dương firefighers have helped extinguish six fires, saving properties worth about VNĐ60 billion (nearly US$2.6 million) this year.
A spokesman for the fire combating force said that businesses had not strictly followed regulations because of the weak collaboration between district and ward authorities and management boards of the industrial parks in Bình Dương Province.
Fire prevention agencies are permitted to conduct a maximum of four fire inspections per year at a big company, and only once a year at small firms, he said. — VNS