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China beefs up fire control for National Day celebration
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Fire brigades in China will conduct thorough fire-safety checks in venues reserved for National Day celebration, and in major venues or those with fire risks across the country, the Ministry of Public Security said Thursday.

The move was aimed to create a safe environment for October's celebration, which marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, the ministry said.

Fire brigades in Beijing's adjacent Tianjin Municipality, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and the provinces of Hebei, Liaoning, Shanxi and Shandong must also focus on key units which supply water, electricity, gas and oil to Beijing, the ministry noted.

The ministry urged local authorities to finish the safety checks and to solve the problems if found before the end of September.

It also urged local departments to take hardline measures to prevent fires, quoting that anyone who smokes or lights an open flame in any venue with fire risks would be detained for five days.

Those who break fire prevention protocols during their work and cause fires by accident would be detained for 15 days and would face more severe punishment if they break the laws.

(Xinhua News Agency August 21, 2009)

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