All commercial and domestic users should exercise greater caution with electricity, which is responsible for most of fires in Ho Chi Minh City, the city fire chief has said.

Speaking to the media this week, Lieutenant Tran Trieu Duong said: "Companies, organisations, and households should be equipped with safety equipment like gas leak warning systems and extinguishers to put out fires as soon as they break out."

In the first quarter of this year, there were 94 fires in the city, 47 percent fewer than in the same period last year, in which three people were killed and three others were injured.

There were also two explosions in which four people died.

The department received 360 fire calls, half down from a year earlier, with 222 of them caused by burning grass and waste.

From companies and organisations, it collected fines of 1.6 billion VND (780,000 USD) after checking for fire safety equipment.

"We are always focused on education," Duong said, adding that in this quarter, over 50,000 people have taken part in 3,500 hours of training in fire safety.

The city plans to upgrade its firefighting ability to match the rest of the region, he said.-VNA