The demand for fire safety equipment has surged in Ho Chi Minh City following a fatal inferno at an apartment block that killed 56 people in Hanoi earlier this week.
Bui Van Trieu, a designer of fire prevention and fighting systems in Thu Duc City under Ho Chi Minh City, has received many phone calls from his friends asking for advice on fire safety equipment, such as gas masks, rope ladders, and fire extinguishers.
Trieu said these friends, mainly living in apartment blocks and boarding houses, are worried after hearing news about the conflagration in Hanoi, which left 56 dead on Tuesday.
“Everyone should buy [fire safety equipment] at prestigious stores with inspection stamps to avoid substandard products,” Trieu said.
Meanwhile, Quang Truong, residing in Ho Chi Minh City’s outlying district of Nha Be, said he was anxious after reading news about the blaze in Hanoi, so he spent Saturday afternoon choosing a rope ladder and a fire extinguisher.
He added that he prepared the objects to respond to fires.
“Although fire prevention and fighting devices are available at apartment buildings, it's advisable to stay vigilant,” Truong said.
Similarly, Pham Thu Huyen, residing in Binh Thanh District, decided to spend her weekend seeking a rope ladder.
“I read newspapers and knew that a family [in Hanoi] escaped the fire from the third floor thanks to a rope ladder, so I decided to immediately buy one,” Huyen admitted.
|An employee of Lua Viet Co. Ltd., a supplier of fire safety equipment in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, checks fire extinguishers before delivering them to customers. The company’s orders have surged after the fire at an apartment block in Hanoi on September 12, 2023. Photo: Quoc Viet / Tuoi Tre|
Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters visited fire safety equipment stores on Nguyen Thai Binh and Calmette Streets in District 1 as well as Huynh Tan Phat Street in District 7, finding that sales of such products had skyrocketed.
Customers have had a higher demand for gas masks, rope ladders, and fire extinguishers.
Phuong, the owner of such a store on Calmette Street, said many products had been sold out.
“Only two five-meter rope ladders are left as supply is short. The store has sold out those with a length of 20 meters and above each,” the purveyor said.
Phuong added that suppliers had doubled the prices of fire safety products after the blaze in Hanoi. The store was resigned to accepting the rates due to the high demand.
Nevertheless, it is not easy to import such products.
Nguyen Linh, the owner of another fire safety equipment store on Cong Hoa Street in Tan Binh District, said he had received dozens of phone calls ordering fire safety equipment since Wednesday but the store had not had enough products for sale.
“Earlier, gas masks or rope ladders saw no buyers. After the fire at the apartment block [in Hanoi], residents have rushed to buy [these products] and called me a lot, even placed pre-orders,” Linh said.
He added that customers had to wait until next week to buy gas masks and the end of September to purchase rope ladders at his store.
Lua Viet Co. Ltd., a District 7-based supplier of fire safety equipment, has also faced a shortage of products.
“The surging demand for fire safety equipment has led to the scarcity of some products. The company can now supply gas masks and fire extinguishers at stable prices, while customers have to place pre-orders for escape ladders and wait for two weeks to receive them,” a representative of the company said.
Fire safety equipment has been also sold well on ecommerce sites but many consumers are hesitant to buy such products online as they have found it hard to check their quality and origin.