Firefighters at the site of fire in Hà Nội's Hà Đông District on Saturday. — Photo

Balconies and windows of houses and apartments which are installed with steel cages are hindering fire prevention when fires occur, according to police.

The latest tragic fire that killed four people from the same family in Hà Nội's Hà Đông District on Saturday has again raised concerns about these steel cages, known as a “tiger cage” or “bird’s nest”.

Police said the 3-storey house is installed with an steel cage in front of the house, causing difficulty for firefighting and rescue work.

The tiger cages were particularly common in old apartment blocks in places such as Thành Công of Ba Đình District, Thanh Xuân Bắc in Thanh Xuân District, Kim Liên of Đống Đa District, and Bách Khoa of Hai Bà Trưng District.

This is not the first fire that happened in houses with tiger cages. 

A representative of the Hà Nội Police's Fire Prevention, Fighting and Rescue Division (PC07) said that in fact, many families have installed cages to have extra living space or protect them from theft.

"As a result, they had inadvertently blocked a fire escape for their families and the cages have hinders police appoach the scene when a fire occurs," the representative of PC07 said.

The best way for firefighting and rescue work is to cut the cages, but it takes a long time, leading to many casualties.

Apartment owners were advised to install steel cages with small doors which would be used as an exit in case of fire.

Each family needs to have an escape plan and share it with family members.

Each family also needs to know the basic knowledge, skills, and equipment for fire prevention and escape.

In the first four months of this year, 522 fires were reported nationwide, killing and injuring 46 people, according to the Ministry of Public Security. — VNS