Surveillance cameras to watch Beijing's parks, heritages

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Beijing authorities will turn on 960 surveillance cameras at the historical city's parks and heritage sites to monitor fires on the Lantern Festival, traditionally celebrated with explosions of firecrackers and fireworks.

The cameras are set up in ancient royal parks including Summer Palace, Beihai Park, and the ancient altar Heavenly Temple, according to the Administration of Parks in Beijing. Firecrackers and fireworks are banned within 10 meters from the parks.

Lantern Festival, which brings an end to the Chinese Spring Festival season, falls on Feb. 17 this year. The day is highly prone to fire accidents. On the festival in 2009, illegal launches of firecrackers set on fire part of the new headquarters complex of China Central Television (CCTV) in Beijing.

Forty people died in more than 118,000 cases of fire reported across China from Feb. 2 to 8 -- the early part of this year's Spring Festival, official figures show. A five-star hotel in the city of Shenyang was burned down by fireworks on the early morning of the Chinese New Year on Feb. 3.

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