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MOSCOW, January 24 (Itar-Tass) — A 110,000 town is destroyed by fires throughout Russia annually, Russian Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday.
At the same time, he noted that the number of fire and the number of fire victims has been gradually going down. “Nine years ago, fires destroyed as many facilities as an entire 240,000 town. Now this is a 110,000 town,” he told a conference dedicated to the ministry’s performance in 2011.
“It is necessary to take better efforts in the area of fire safety,” he said.
Voluntary fire fighter teams are now being formed throughout Russian. The current number of volunteers is 157,000, and it is planned to bring this figure up to 800,000 within a year. It is also planned to equip such voluntary fire fighter teams with hardware and means of protection.
“By the end of 2014, we would like to have 1.2 million volunteer fire fighters and rescuers,” the minister said.
He also spoke in favour of tightening measures to prevent fires at facilities under construction. Such fires account for 20 percent of the total number of fires in Russia, but their damage stands at 48 percent. “The reason is poor oversight over compliance with fire safety rules at such facilities,” he said. “Three years ago oversight functions were transferred to the construction oversight authority. And now we must audit its activity and to elaborate insurance mechanisms.”