Le Tan Buu, Director of the city’s Fire Fighting Department, said at a recent meeting that nearly 2 million households, including more than 300,000 home-run businesses, faced high risk of fire.

Most houses in the city were built before 1975, while many households do not comply with fire safety regulations.

The firefighting department said that promoting fire prevention in household businesses was difficult.

Electricity problems cause 70 percent of fires in the city, the department said.

A serious fire that occurred on Le Van Sy street in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 3 killed six people and injured five last December. 

Tran Thanh Chau, Deputy Director of the department, said that residents’ lack of awareness of fire prevention and the risks they face contributed to the problem.

Violations of regulations on the use of electricity and electrical equipment as well as poor electric wiring were other fire risks.

In addition, flammable goods stored on ground floors and in corridors as well as blocking hallways and exits posed risks.

Many houses are located in small and deep alleys which are difficult for firefighting forces to access.

Huynh Cach Mang, Deputy Chairman of the city’s People’s Committee, said district authorities should work with local agencies to inspect fire safety in all households and house-run businesses and take measures to reduce fire risks.

The city’s electricity sector should also offer support to maintain the power system.

The water supply sector, he said, should prioritize installing fire hydrants in residential areas and near house-run businesses.

The city’s firefighters should also use mini-equipment and trucks that can access small alleys.

Do Phi Hung, Deputy Director of the city’s Construction Department, said that local authorities should relocate house-run business at high risk of fire out of residential areas and crack down on violators who use advertising signs inappropriately.

Doan Viet Manh, Head of the Ministry of Public Security’s Fire and Rescue Police Department, said the department would collaborate with local fire-fighting forces to review fire-fighting regulations and ask the State for adjustments if necessary.

According to the city’s Department of Fire Fighting, in the first quarter of the year, there were 280 fires that killed 13 people and injured 17, causing a total of VND 871 billion (USD 38.3 million) in property damage.

Of the figure, 132 fires occurred in households and home-based businesses, leaving 12 people dead and 11 injured, and causing total damages of VND 475 billion (USD 21 million).

Source: VNA