The capital city of Hanoi recorded 638 cases of fire over the past nine months, with more than half of them occurring at residents’ private houses, according to the latest report from the Ha Noi Police’s Department of Fire Prevention and Control.
Most of the fire incidents—over 61 per cent—were caused by electricity failure, according to the report.
Last month, a nighttime blaze wiped out at least 10 houses on De La Thanh Street in Hanoi and killed two people. The fire quickly spread from one house to others in the neighbourhood within two hours. Local authorities then concluded that the fire was caused by electricity failure.
Statistics showed that more than 15 per cent of the fire incidents were caused by human error, including the burning of incense and votive papers, with the latest example being the fire incident at a five-storey house in Ba Dinh District on October 9, which was caused by the house owner’s burning of incense.
Head of the department’s Fire Prevention Office Dang Minh Tuan said that fire often occurred because of simple habits such as burning incense or votive papers without proper supervision or using electric equipment and devices without maintenance.
Residential homes, particularly those that were used for both living and trading purposes, posed a high risk of fire because these houses often stored many flammable things, which in some cases blocked fire exit, he said.
He also noted that local residents’ lack of awareness and failure to build fire prevention and control and escape plans led to serious consequences when fire did occur.
Last Sunday, a fire occurred at a mattress warehouse in Nam Tu Liem District of Hanoi. The fire quickly spread and covered the whole facility which contained many flammable materials and chemicals. The incident killed a man and injured four other people, including a child.
Head of the department Pham Trung Hieu told the newspaper that fire prevention and fighting forces would soon review the implementation of the municipal People’s Committee’s Action Plan on addressing shortcomings and improving efficiency in fire prevention and fighting tasks in the city in order to draw experience and seek more effective measures.
It was important to educate local residents about related legal knowledge and raise public awareness of preventing fire themselves, he said.
Fire prevention and fighting police will increase the organising of training courses on fire prevention and fighting knowledge and skills at residential areas and within every household with the hope of raising awareness, according to Hieu. The training will be accompanied by drills that involve the participation of local residents.