Police check automatic fire alarm system at a high-rise building. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - More than 4,100 high-rise buildings in Vietnam are at high risk of fire, the interdisciplinary team of the Ministry of Public Security and Ministry of Construction concluded in a recent investigation.

Their study was carried out across seven localities, including Hanoi, HCM City, Da Nang and provinces of Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Khanh Hoa and Ba Ria-Vung Tau.  

Hundreds of residential buildings in Hanoi and HCM City do not comply with fire safety standards. They came into operation without any evaluation of the performance of fire detection and suppression systems.

Buildings numbered M3 and M4 at No 91 Nguyen Chi Thanh street in the urban district of Dong Da, Hanoi, for example, do not have fire-resistant doors equipped with fire exit hardware and technical rooms.

The fire doors of these buildings do not automatically close, Tuoi tre (Youth) newspaper reported.

The report released by the inspection team also shows that automatic fire alarm systems at the two buildings are not operating with manual pull stations or fire detectors.

Notification appliances remain deactivated. Moreover, fire detectors are not set up at each floor’s hall and technical room. The same situation was found at residential buildings numbered 2A, 3A and 3B at the Sai Dong-Phuc Dong Urban Area in Long Bien district, Hanoi.
   
In HCM City, Van Do Residential Area at No 348 Ben Van Don street in District 4 does not have internal roads that are accessible to fire trucks. Automatic fire fighting water pumps in its basement do not operate even when activated while some plumbing hoses do not have supply lines.

Le Hoang Chau, head of the HCM City Real Estate Association, said according to regulations, high-rise buildings are supposed to have their fire prevention and fighting systems evaluated before coming into operation. Provincial departments of construction are responsible for implementing assessment of these appliances.

Despite the regulations, several investors in residential buildings allow tenants to move in before the evaluation has been done. In June 2016, investors of Bay Hien Tower in Tan Binh district let 29 households move in while the building was under construction.

Therefore, investors in high-rise buildings should bear the biggest responsibility for buildings’ fire safety.

To control fire hazards, the Ministry of Public Security asked provincial and city people’s committees to tighten management on buildings opening without evaluation of fire prevention and fighting systems. Local authorities were also asked to allocate money to ensure fire safety for social housing projects, resettlement areas and apartment buildings.

In March, a fire broke out at an apartment block at Carina Plaza in District 8, HCM City and killed 13 people. Fire incidents at residential buildings in Hanoi and HCM City in the following months demand the two ministries conduct a comprehensive investigation into condos in the seven localities. The investigation began on April 15.-VNS/VNA