China / Society

China improves fire safety at historical sites

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-04-09 20:45

BEIJING - China has new rules on fire prevention and control in historical towns and buildings following severe damage to two sites.

The regulation, by the ministries of public security and housing and the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, urged better fire safety for 100 historical towns, villages and buildings on the state protection list.

The regulation follows a fire which destroyed nearly two-thirds of well preserved Tibetan homes in Shangri-la county of Southwest China's Yunnan province in January. Also in January, a blaze in the 300-year-old Baojing Dong village, in neighboring Guizhou province, destroyed more than 100 houses.

Fire safety should be part of local government evaluation. Officials who neglect their duties will be punished.

China has more than 650 cities, towns and villages of historical and cultural value, and 3,744 such villages, mostly composed of wooden structures that are vulnerable to fire. Since 2009, a total of 1,343 fires have occurred in these sites mainly due to careless use of fire, electricity and gas.

By the end of 2015, both police departments and governmental administrations should set up their own fire teams, and be ready to arrive at a site within five minutes of alert.

Volunteers should be enlisted for fire prevention and control for villages with at least 100 households; smaller ones should have special fire offices.

 China improves fire safety at historical sites  China improves fire safety at historical sites

Ancient town in Shangri-la devastated by fire

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