At least 12 new apartment buildings and several older ones have not met fire safety requirements, putting thousands of lives at risk, according to Ho Chi Minh City's Firefighting Department.
The agency released the information on Friday after inspecting 645 buildings with more than 10 stories in the city.
Deputy Director Tran Thanh Chau said notably 12 recently developed projects, with 740 units in total, did not meet safety standards.
All buyers have moved in, he said, naming 410, Hung Vuong, Bui Minh Truc, Kim Tam Hai, Thai An 3, Thai An 4 and Khang Gia among the buildings.
“We could not ask 3,000 residents to move out. We could only hand down strict punishment and order the developers to fix their buildings and make them safe from fire," he said.
Trung said for other decades-old buildings, repair works can be challenging.
"The solution is to equip such buildings with appropriate firefighting systems and raise the awareness of the residents," he said.
There have been 121 fires in the city so far this year, injuring nine people and causing damage worth about VND56 billion (US$2.5 million).