S. Taiwan city rolls out system to bolster karaoke fire safety

System connects KTV fire alarms with Tainan’s emergency responders

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(Tainan City Government photo)

(Tainan City Government photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The southern city of Tainan has inaugurated a digital fire alarm system to boost safety for the city's recreational venues in the wake of a deadly KTV fire in Taipei in April.

The system involves putting in place a web-based alert notification system that will send alerts to Tainan's emergency response authorities when fire alarms at business premises are switched off. A trial run of the mechanism is underway for eight karaoke venues.

This enables the supervising authorities to step in and investigate the reason behind the shut-off of fire safety equipment in a timely fashion, which helps prevent fires in the first place, said Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲). The system, run successfully, can be emulated nationwide and made mandatory by law to improve public safety, he added.

In April, a fire broke out at a Cashbox Partyworld KTV in Taipei's Zhongshan District, claiming six lives and shedding light on flawed safety protocols at the capital's recreational venues. Human negligence was blamed for the tragedy, with an investigation pointing to the deactivation of fire alarms, smoke detectors, sprinklers, smoke exhaust systems, and internal broadcasting systems on the floor where the fire started.