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Dec 04, 2023 / 19:00

Hanoi to spend $400 million on fire prevention

In the last 10 years, fires have claimed the lives of some 200 people in Hanoi.

The Hanoi People's Committee is considering a program to increase the city's fire prevention and rescue capacity by 2045.

Hanoi students during a fire drill. Photo: The Hanoi Times

The total cost of the program is estimated at VND9.63 trillion (US$397 million).

Accordingly, the plan will be executed in three phases.

The first will be carried out from now until 2025, the second from 2026-2030, and the third from 2031-2045.

The budget for the first stage is estimated at VND1.5 trillion ($62 million), the second at nearly VND3 trillion ($124 million), and the third at VND5 trillion ($206 million).

The program will be submitted to the 14th meeting of the Hanoi People's Council, which opens on December 5, for discussion and approval.

In proposing the program, the Hanoi People's Committee said the city has faced several major fire incidents in recent years, resulting in high casualties and property damage.

From 2013 to 2023, Hanoi has experienced nearly 4,500 fires, 18 explosions, and more than 8,000 minor incidents related to fire and explosives. Of the total, more than 130 cases cause fatal consequences and high property damages.

The proposal also reported that about 200 people were killed and more than 270 injured in fires and explosions in the past 10 years.

"After review, it is found that the fire cases that cause serious damage and casualties occur in families who use their homes for business and storage purposes," the program proposal said. "While a few happen in warehouses and crowded places," it added.

The most tragic fire occurred on September 12-13, when a nine-story tenement building in Thanh Xuan District's Ha Dinh Ward was set ablaze, killing 56 people, injuring nearly 100 others, and damaging the entire building.

On July 8, a fire destroyed a five-storey house in Tho Quan Alley, Kham Thien Street, killing one adult and two children.

To strengthen and improve the quality of fire prevention and rescue in the city, the Hanoi Fire and Rescue Police Department and local authorities have organized training courses for local residents and students on knowledge and skills for first response to emergencies.

Hanoi authorities have set up special teams of local people to help fight fires in the early stages.

To prevent serious fires, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and the Hanoi Municipal Government have asked local authorities and government agencies to inspect firefighting and prevention standards in all tenement and apartment buildings, business and entertainment facilities, and public places.

On September 22, the Hanoi People’s Committee approved a resolution on measures to improve fire prevention and firefighting. The resolution outlines nine major categories of measures that include immediate and future actions to improve fire and explosion safety.