On 26 March Belarusian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Vashchenko said that the head of state had instructed the ministry to work out a comprehensive plan and check all the crowded places — shopping centers, movie theaters, and so on — in Belarus by the end of the month. The work began right away. Emergencies Ministry specialists primarily focus on fire safety measures, escape routes, proper work of safety systems, automatics, and fire extinguishers. Personnel training — their knowledge and skills, actual accomplishments — is also checked. The Emergencies Minister said: “I recommend that all managers and owners of such facilities should not wait for the arrival of our inspectors. Instead they should take exhaustive measures to take care of fire safety as of today.” The Emergencies Ministry intends to openly publish results of the inspections.
Specialists of the Minsk City Office of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry checked three shopping centers — Simax in Nesterova Street, GUM in Nezavisimosti Avenue, and Dana Mall in Petra Mstislavtsa Street.
The Simax shopping center in Nesterova Street.
Violations of fire safety regulations were detected in the course of the inspection.
The GUM shopping center is the next stop.
An evacuation drill in Dana Mall in Petra Mstislavtsa Street
An exercise arranged by the Emergencies Ministry took place in the shopping center Jusk in Brest on 27 March. According to the scenario, a fire broke out in one of the rooms. Specialists of the Emergencies Ministry checked whether the personnel responded in a timely manner to the emergency. They also checked the fire alarm system and practiced evacuating customers and personnel in addition to extinguishing the fire.
A large-scale exercise featuring an evacuation drill took place in the shopping center OldCity on 27 March.