CHINA> Regional
Beijing ramps up measures to guarantee National Day gala safety
Updated: 2009-09-08 20:27

BEIJING: Government departments in the national capital are making arrangements to ensure the safety of the forthcoming National Day celebration.

At a specially convened news briefing held in Beijing Tuesday, the municipal fire control bureau deputy chief Luo Yuan said all fire fighters' leave up until the holiday had been cancelled.

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"Nearly 6,000 police officers and 460 fire engines have been put on guard against fire hazards from Tuesday up to National Day on October 1,"said Luo.

Fireworks will be set off around Tian'anmen Square and in other designated areas for National Day celebration rehearsals and for the gala itself, with the approval of the municipal government.

The municipal government ordered all rooftops and balconies of buildings in the vicinity of Tian'anmen Square and other nearby areas should be cleared of flammable materials in an announcement on fire disaster prevention and control measures issued on August 28.

The announcement also stipulated outer structures decorated with flammable, heat retentive and waterproof materials, as well as all visible holes and cracks should be covered up by nonflammable materials.

Sprinklers should be turned on on green turf and forested land near where fire works would be let off.

Social forces such as enforcers of bylaws and volunteers will be mobilized to help patrol designated areas around Tian'anmen Square.

Also, the municipal postal organization said different post offices across the city are to step up inspections of parcels and mail.

Materials banned from mail services includes items such as weapons and ammunitions, explosives, flammables, corrosive materials, poisons, narcotics, biochemical products and infectious goods.

A spokesman from the municipal postal company said China Post had asked workers with all postal organizations across the country to inspect mailed items in the presence of customers in a bid to guarantee safety.

"Customers who refuse inspections will not get mail service, and liquid chemicals, as well as other gases, liquids and powders not able to be recognized will not be accepted for mailing either," said the spokesman.

Hebei Province, Beijing's neighbor, has also taken measures to allay transportation safety concerns.

Hebei Provincial Public Security said all residents of Hebei were required to register their real names when traveling to Beijing, and every bus bound for Beijing should also be registered as well as include safety supervisors.

China will hold a host of activities in Beijing, including a military parade, to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC) on October 1.