An inspection team of officials from the construction and public security ministries, and the HCM City People’s Committee on May 7 examined fire safety measures in apartment and high-rise buildings in the city.
|Unscheduled inspection of fire safety regulations conducted in HCM City |
Major General Doan Viet Manh, head of the Ministry of Public Security’s Fire and Rescue Police Department, led the team to conduct unscheduled inspections on facilities with a high risk of fire. The facilities were informed about the visits only 30 minutes before the teams arrived. At the Giai Viet Apartment Building on Ta Quang Buu street in District 8, the team discovered infrastructure limitations affecting firefighting. They said the apartment building had no management board and lacked records on firefighting equipment. The fire alarm system (water sprinklers) did not meet requirements to prevent fire from spreading, and many objects obstructed the way out of the building’s basement.
Major Tran Hai Nam from the Fire and Rescue Police Department said that fire alarms and automatic water sprinklers in the building were not set properly and some firefighting equipment was not in good condition. Some residential apartments were converted to business purposes and contain goods, while others had doors opening towards the corridor which can hinder people from escaping, he said. Manh asked the building owner to set up an apartment management board, begin training courses for firefighters, improve management and supervision of the basement, and quickly handle the changed purposes of some apartments, and fix damaged equipment and signs. The team will continue to conduct unscheduled inspections on buildings in the city. The overall results are scheduled to be released on May 8. HCM City is one of seven localities in the country holding unscheduled inspections of fire-safety regulations in buildings. The inspections have been carried out in the wake of a serious of fires occurring at apartment buildings recently in HCM City and other cities. As many as 13 people died and tens of others were injured when a blaze started from the parking basement between Buildings A and B of Carina Plaza at No. 1648 Vo Van Kiet street in HCM City's District 8 on March 23. Hundreds of people were stuck and rushed to upper storeys. Carina Plaza is a high-end apartment complex including three buildings with 15-21 storeys and 736 apartments. It was put into use six years ago.