Fire broke out at an apartment block on Hoang Hoa Tham street, Hanoi, in December 2017 (Source: VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) - As of April 4, only 179 out of 718 multi-storey apartment buildings in Hanoi had fire insurance, according to the Hanoi Fire Prevention and Control Police Department.

More than half of the 179 apartment buildings which have insurance are trade or high-class buildings.

Hanoi saw 1,100 fires last year and the first three months this year, according to the municipal Fire Prevention and Control Police Department. The fires killed 24 people, injured 18 others and caused losses of about 617 billion VND (27.4 million USD). In the first three months this year only, the capital city had 280 fires, of which 87 occurred in multi-storey buildings.

By this Monday, a total of 29 construction works in Hanoi were found to have violated fire prevention and control regulations, with 15 buildings unable to improve.

Major-general Hoang Quoc Dinh, Director of the department, said that the department sent a report on the 15 buildings to the Ministry of Public Security and Ministry of Construction to ask for instruction.

The police department worried about fire prevention and control in high-rise buildings as many of them were built before 2000, and now they are downgraded. Maintenance of fire control equipment and systems had also not been carried out properly.

To tackle the problem, the department will conduct a general inspection and review of fire prevention and fighting of high buildings, industrial parks, commercial and entertainment centres. The inspection teams will begin random checks in provinces from April 10 to May 10.
Investors and project management boards were also required to report on firefighting and prevention plans in their construction design.

Hanoi now has more than 1,100 high-storey buildings, of which 718 are apartment buildings.

Decree 23/2018/NĐ-CP regulated that by the middle of this month, construction works facing high risk of fire including multi-storey apartment buildings, hotels, kindergartens, hospitals and petrol stations must buy fire insurance. The insurance must cover all parts of the construction works such as houses, machines, equipment and raw materials.

The decree also regulated that insurance enterprises can refuse to sell insurance to apartment buildings without fire prevention reports and control safety inspection.

The decree detailed the responsibilities of the Ministry of Public Security, governmental organisations and people’s committees related to fire insurance.-VNA