CY Urges Greater Efforts on Boosting Fire Alarm Installation Rate to Ensure Safety

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Recommendations made by the Control Yuan in an investigation report issued last year has resulted in new measures by the Ministry of Interior (MOI) to boost the fire detection equipment installation rate in Taiwan households so as to better ensure people’s safety. The investigation looked into the MOI’s efforts in the period after Article 6 of the Fire Services Act was amended in 2010 by the Ministry with the aim of promoting installation of residential fire safety equipment for early detection and response. The amendment came about following a tragic hotel fire in Taipei City the previous year that caused seven deaths and one serious injury.

In its investigation, the Control Yuan discovered that as of the end of 2016, the installation rate of residential fire detection equipment remained at below 30% nationwide, and was as low as less than 10% in some counties. According to the investigation, the MOI had been focusing its efforts mainly on providing subsidies and conducting a publicity campaign for installation, and had neglected to set up mechanisms for government supervision and for holding residential owners personally responsible for installation. Furthermore, the MOI had failed to coordinate with relevant government agencies with respect to requiring residential owners to undertake installation, and had not provided sufficient assistance for the installation of fire detection equipment in economically-disadvantaged households and in alleys and lanes lacking fire hydrants.

Following the CY’s investigation report, the MOI conducted a review of the situation and put forward the draft “Residential Fire Protection Measures 2.0.” The measures include setting the target of increasing the fire detection equipment installation rate in Taiwan by 5% annually, and requiring the installation and maintenance of such equipment in newly-built non-public facilities during license-issuing. They also include increasing the frequency of safety assessment visits to off-campus student rentals, as well as prioritizing public advocacy for installation in narrow locations where fire trucks cannot access and rescue is difficult. Local governments will also implement various measures, such as increasing relevant budgets, integrating private resources and advocating fire safety.

As the institution protecting human rights, the Control Yuan will continue with follow-up monitoring of residential fire detection equipment installation efforts in order to ensure the safety of all the people.