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City Authorities Issue Fire Warnings

Source: Vientiane Times

A house fire has prompted Vientiane authorities to request people to check their electrical appliances and replace old wiring and other electrical equipment, after numerous fires have been blamed on electrical faults.

The Vientiane Fire Prevention and Protection Police Department said that most of the fires that have broken out this year are thought to have been caused by electrical faults, especially in hot weather when overheating can occur.

Authorities in Xaythany district, Vientiane, are currently investigating the cause of a blaze that swept through a two-storey house in Danxang village last week, and suspect that the fire was again the result of an electrical fault.

A volunteer with Vientiane Rescue 1623 said the fire started at 8:57am on May 26 and firefighters and emergency service volunteers were called to the scene.

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Firemen hosed water from three fire engines onto the burning building as the flames spread rapidly, taking about 30 minutes to extinguish the blaze.

The fire department and local authorities are making enquiries and examining the property in the hope of learning how the fire started.

Eight fires were reported in Vientiane in March and April, in which two people died, according to the Fire Prevention and Protection Police Department, Ministry of Public Security.

The estimated damage caused by these fires was in excess of 3 billion kip. The department said five houses burned down and another was damaged.

In other incidents, a car caught fire and burned.

Six of the fires are thought to have been caused by electrical faults, another was caused by arson, and one resulted from lighted candles.

Since March, Vientiane authorities have been warning everyone to be aware of the danger of accidental fires in the hot season and to take precautions against electrical faults and other fire hazards.

The Vientiane Public Security Headquarters said people should check appliances and replace old wiring and other electrical equipment to prevent fires.

Candles lit at home should be carefully watched to make sure they don’t set light to their surroundings and cooking fires should be extinguished after use.

Switching off all electrical devices such as air conditioners, fans and televisions before leaving homes and offices is also advised. Offices, factories, companies, schools, hospitals, hotels, guesthouses, markets and houses should all have fire extinguishers, officials said.