Residents in Taiwan’s Hualien urged to install smoke alarms as home fires increase

Earlier detection of fires would lead to significantly better outcomes for people and property: County commissioner

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(Hualien County Fire Department photo)

(Hualien County Fire Department photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Hualien County Fire Department on Monday (Sept. 14) urged residents to install smoke alarms, as the county saw more than 70 home fires from January to August this year.

Hualien County Commissioner Hsu Chen-wei (徐榛蔚) led an assembly on Monday to call for the public to pay more attention to fire prevention. She said that Hualien has seen more fires recently, with some victims losing everything, according to CNA.

If the fires had been spotted earlier, losses would not have been so severe, she added.

Peng Ming-te (彭明德), disaster prevention section chief at Hualien County Fire Department, said that fires in the county in the first eight months of this year increased 37.5 percent compared to the same period last year, with a two-fold increase in fire-caused property damage. He added that this should be seen as a warning sign.

According to the fire department’s statistics, improper use of electrical appliances accounted for the most fire incidents in the county, followed by battery combustion of consumer electronics and fires involving cigarettes.