Hoi An tackles fire risks

QUANG NAM, 22 February 2017: Hoi An City’s administration plans to install a comprehensive firefighting system in Hoi An ancient town to protect the area from fire threats.

Tuoi Tre News quoted the administration deputy chairman, Nguyen Van Son, saying the authority is awaiting approval to install a USD8.93-million firefighting system in Hoi An  to ensure the town’s wooden houses can deal with fires.

“Our present system is 10 years old and has become badly degraded, making it difficult to respond in a timely manner to emergencies.”

inside no 10In addition to the new firefighting system, the city is adopting measures to improve fire safety in houses that are more than 100 years old many of them made out of  timber.

The city has asked owners of these houses not to leave their homes unattended, while requiring each household to equip themselves with fire extinguishers to put out small fires before they can spread to neighbouring houses.

The major threats are electrical faults such as short circuits that could quickly ignite wooden houses.

Last Wednesday, a fire started at an unattended house on Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, but was quickly brought under control, the report said.

Last November, a fabric shop on Nguyen Thai Hoc Street caught fire following an electrical short circuit. The store was completely destroyed.

In 2013, fire broke out at a bamboo souvenir business on the city’s Tran Phu Street, burning the house to the ground and destroying everything inside, it added.

Quang Nam is home to three world-renowned attractions – the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites Hoi An Ancient Town and My Son Sanctuary, and the Cu Lao Cham UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.

Hoi An was recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999. The town is one of the most popular tourist destinations for local and international visitors to Vietnam.

This year, Hoi An expects to receive about 3 million visitors. Last year, visits to Hoi An reached 2.6 million, up nearly 18% over 2015.