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Over 200 thousand fire safety violations identified in Kazakhstan — Ministry of Emergency Situations

Tuesday, 03 November 2020, 11:30:07

At a government session chaired by Prime Minister Askar Mamin, issues of ensuring fire safety during the heating season were considered. Minister of Emergency Situations Yuri Ilyin reported on the current state of affairs in the country.

According to the minister, 92% of emergencies occurring in the country are fires. The situation escalates during the heating season.

This year, given the pandemic, the heating season began earlier.

“Since September, over 1,300 fires have occurred in the residential sector. The growth of fires is observed in the city of Shymkent, Almaty, Akmola, Zhambyl, North Kazakhstan and Kostanay regions. The number of deaths in the Zhambyl region by 4 cases, in the city of Almaty — by 3 and in Pavlodar — by 2. Injured in the Kostanay region by 6 times, in the city of Nur-Sultan by 4.5 times and in the Karaganda region by 2.2 times,’’ the head of the department informed.

There are cases of group deaths: in Zhambyl, two children died in a fire in a residential building, in North Kazakhstan region — two people, and in East Kazakhstan region — two people.

The reasons for the growth of fires were violations of fire safety, in particular, during the operation of household appliances and stoves, as well as careless handling of fire.

“Based on the experience of past years, we are systematically working in the residential sector. More than 118 thousand residential buildings of socially vulnerable segments of the population were registered, which we visited before the start of the heating season. In 87 thousand houses, or 74%, a by-pass was carried out jointly with the regional akimats and representatives of the internal affairs, social security, education, and health authorities. Of these, about 9% — more than 10 thousand houses continue to be operated with violations, they are taken under the control of the local authorities,” said Ilyin.

Along with this, more than 550 thousand houses with autonomous heating systems were bypassed, more than two hundred thousand fire safety violations were revealed in more than 140 thousand.

As the minister noted, at the expense of the akimats and sponsorship in this year. more than 12 thousand sensors were installed to determine the dangerous concentration of gas and combustion products. It is planned to install over 11 thousand more sensors by the end of the year. At the same time, over 12% of fires occur due to violations during the operation of furnaces. Basically, they are allowed already at the stage of construction and their installation, there are also no corresponding qualified specialists, and service organizations for cleaning and repairing smoke and ventilation ducts are not subject to accreditation.

Every year, over 20 people die from poisoning with natural and liquefied gas, and group deaths and injuries occur from explosions and pops of gas-cylinder installations.

In accordance with the Law "On Gas and Gas Supply", control over compliance with the requirements for safe operation of gas-consuming systems and gas equipment for household and municipal consumers is entrusted to the LEI.

At the same time, only the local authorities of the cities of Almaty, Nur-Sultan, Kostanay and Akmola regions have created gas-technical inspections, in other regions the function is assigned to housing and communal services units. But this work is not carried out by them.

“Taking into account the preparations for the heating season, inspections of 417 heat and power supply facilities and 4 322 formations were carried out. Of these, 47 thermal power plants and 565 educational institutions are operated with violations. In connection with the pandemic, healthcare facilities were taken under special control, they are registered in 1,409. Since 2017, work has been carried out to remove autonomous heating installations from social facilities. Akimats' decisions on 387 objects are required,” said Ilyin.

In addition, there are systemic problems of a general nature in ensuring the safety of the population.

First, the remoteness of fire brigades from settlements.

As the minister noted, in winter, the risk of fires in private housing increases, weather conditions become more complicated (ice, drifts, blizzards, etc.), which affects the time of arrival of fire brigades.

“Together with the regional akimats, we are trying to solve the problem through the creation of fire posts in settlements where our units are absent. 153 posts have been created in three years. Today, there are 396 of them functioning throughout the country, this provides protection for about 1,200 villages and settlements with a total population of more than one million people. The target figures for the last three years do not exceed 60%,” explained Ilyin.

Second, the state of the fire-fighting water supply is unsatisfactory.

“Success in extinguishing fires depends on the availability of water sources. Over 15 thousand fire hydrants are in disrepair throughout the republic. This year, akimats have repaired more than 2 thousand. However, annually, due to dilapidated water supply systems, about one thousand are written off,” the head of the department said.

Third, during construction, the established gaps between objects are not observed, entrances for the passage of fire fighting vehicles are not taken into account, which entails the risk of a fire developing over large areas and gives rise to complaints from the population.

“For example, over the course of 2 years, a resident of Taraz has repeatedly addressed us on the fact of violation of the fire-prevention distance between his house and the shopping center. Only for the past period of the current year, about 100 such appeals were received. Often, deviations from projects are also allowed during construction, as a result, the facilities are operated with irreparable violations,” explained Ilyin.

In total, 263 large objects are operated in the republic with gross violations. The information was sent to the authorized body for taking appropriate measures, up to the revocation of the license.

“Since this year, together with the Ministry of Industry And Infrastructure Development, the issue of compliance with standards at the design stage has been resolved, fire safety experts have been introduced. At the same time, it is necessary to strengthen control over the activities of technical and architectural supervision during construction,” the minister said.

An important component in ensuring the protection of settlements is the technical readiness of the units of the Ministry of Emergency Situations.

The implementation of the relevant Roadmap for 2018-2020 allowed to bring the level of equipment to 50%. Over three years, 645 units of equipment were purchased at the expense of the republican and local budgets.

Akim of the North Kazakhstan region Kumar Aksakalov said that since the beginning of the heating period of 2020-2021, 91 fires have occurred in the residential sector with damage over 4 million tenge. The fire killed 4 people, 1 person was injured.

Compared to the same period last year, the increase in fires was 40%. Most of the fires are in the private sector. Based on the analysis, only 28% of fires occurred in private homes. Causes of fires were careless handling of fire.

About 70% of houses in the residential sector have been in operation for over 50 years and are classified as dilapidated housing.

To stabilize the situation, the demolition of the private sector is being carried out, and active development of comfortable houses is underway. In total, 1,160 houses have been demolished over the past 3 years. Another 117 houses will be demolished by the end of the year.

As part of rendering assistance to socially vulnerable segments of the population, we install autonomous smoke and carbon monoxide detectors at their addresses. In total, more than 900 sensors have been installed.

In addition, in order to prevent fires, on the eve of winter, employees of civil protection bodies covered more than 25 thousand residential buildings in a yard, in which more than 63 thousand citizens were instructed.

Akim of Kostanay region Archimed Mukhambetov said that more than 1.5 billion tenge was allocated for the material and technical equipment of the Department of Emergency Situations. More than 10 thousand families of socially vulnerable segments of the population were visited.

“Of the 160 facilities of the autonomous heating system, 76 have been removed since 2017, the remaining 84 objects will be completed by 2023, including 71 objects in the education sector. In general, all the necessary measures to prevent fire safety have been taken. Work in this direction continues,” added Mukhambetov.

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