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Fire prevention needs to be made an urgent priority
The Saigon Times Daily
Sunday,  Dec 29, 2019,17:15 (GMT+7)

Fire prevention needs to be made an urgent priority

The Saigon Times Daily

Heart-rending news on fires has profoundly stricken the public these days with blazes killing many people and destroying properties.

Two foreign tourists were killed when a fire erupted at a house on Phu Quoc Island off Kien Giang Province on Saturday. On the same day, a fire at dawn engulfed a film studio on Nguyen Binh Street in HCMC’s Nha Be District, destroying high-value equipment inside.

Cam Ly dumpsite in Lam Dong Province’s Dalat City caught fire early last week, and was only partially doused last Saturday, after enveloping the resort city in thick smoke for days on end, adversely affecting the tourism industry during the flower festival there.

Two weeks ago, a big fire destroyed four restaurants in Quang Nam Province’s Hoi An City, beyond the fighting capacity of local police and residents.

On December 7, a fire at a house on Vo Thi Nho Street in HCMC’s District 7, killing three people inside, while one week earlier, three people were killed in a house on Nguyen Chinh Street in Hanoi City’s Hoang Mai District.

The above-mentioned incidents as covered in local media are just a few examples of the worsening situation of fires nationwide that have claimed huge human and property losses and adversely damaged the environment, especially after the recent inferno that destroyed Rang Dong Light Sources and Vacuum Flask Company in Hanoi.

What is more worrying is that the number of big fires tends to rise.

The number of fatalities this month has surged compared to the average. And, within a 30-day period from October 15 to November 14, as many as 258 fires were reported nationwide, 24 more than in the previous month, according to the website of the Ministry of Public Security.

Meanwhile, a report submitted to the National Assembly last month showed a staggering 2,959 fires happened nationwide in the first nine months of this year, leaving 76 dead. They almost matched the yearly average of 3,287 cases and 87 fatalities in the previous five years. Around nine fires took place a day on average, which should be cause for great concern.

At a working session on November 13, the NA Committee on National Defense and Security highlighted concerns about the increasingly complicated situation of fires, noting that a high urbanization rate in the face of inadequate urban infrastructure development has made it more challenging to deal with fire fighting and prevention, while modern gear to extinguish large fires, especially at high-rise buildings are insufficient. NA deputies at the session suggested that more effective measures be worked out, especially applications of advanced scientific and technological solutions, acquisition of modern equipment, encouragement of the private sector’s participation, and especially new regulations to hold leaders of localities, organizations and public facilities responsible in case of fires.

Apparently, alongside the country’s economic development, greater resources need to be allocated for fire fighting and prevention, and this task needs to be made an urgent priority if the rising number of fires is to be contained to safeguard people’s safety and properties.

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