Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Saturday, Apr 13, 2024

Ex-fire chief says Hong Kong construction sites need customised safety measures

Ex-fire chief says Hong Kong construction sites need customised safety measures

Anthony Lam, an ex-director of the Fire Services Department, says expert risk assessments should be carried out at every construction project.

Fire risk assessments should be carried out at every Hong Kong construction site to make sure safety measures are tailor-made, a former head of the Fire Services Department has said.

Anthony Lam Chun-man, a fire safety specialist and an ex-director of the department, said that risk assessments should be carried out by experts to ensure the most appropriate safety equipment was installed, even though general government guidelines were in place.

“How do you know if the fire risk of different construction sites is the same?” Lam asked. “Some risks faced by one site might not exist in another site. An expert must do an assessment before introducing risk mitigation measures.”

The under-construction hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui catches fire earlier this week.


Lam was speaking after a lack of proper equipment was partly blamed for a major blaze at an under-construction hotel on Thursday night.

“We need to target the particular risks, which could be different in various places, environment and time,” he explained.

Lam said fireproof paint applied to construction materials at a site where bamboo scaffolding was used was a good safety measure.

He added that building materials that would only be used in the later stages of construction should not be transported to the site too early.

The No 4 alarm fire broke out on Middle Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, a major shopping district and tourist hotspot, late on Thursday and burned until about 8.30am on Friday.

The area was blanketed with red-hot embers and falling debris, which forced the evacuation of people from nearby buildings as firefighters battled to bring the blaze under control.

Smoke was again seen to come from the site on Saturday morning, but the threat was quickly tackled by firefighters, a department spokesman said.

The Buildings Department confirmed after an inspection that there was no obvious danger from the 48-storey hotel project.

But some scaffolding and suspending work platforms showed signs of instability and urgent work was under way to remove unsafe pieces of construction equipment.

The department said that the work platforms had already been taken away.

The Fire Services Department on Friday said that only temporary fire safety equipment was available at the site, which made it more difficult for firefighters to tackle the blaze.

The voluntary guidelines recommend minimum fire installations and equipment at building construction sites.

These include fixed fire pumps to take water up to floors 30 metres (98 feet) or more above ground level.

The guidelines stipulate the pumps should be close to staircases and connected to the mains electricity supply and a plan showing their locations should be displayed at the entrance to the site.

It is still not known whether the Tsim Sha Tsui site followed the guidelines.

The authorities and site developer the Empire Group said only that investigations into the fire continued.

Eddie Lam Kin-wing, the president of the Hong Kong Construction Association, which endorsed the guidelines, said it was not clear how usual it was for contractors to follow fire safety recommendations.

“It should be quite feasible to carry out those measures if they are listed in a guideline,” he said.

But he added that some sites might not be able to follow the recommendations because of on-site space restrictions.

The CR Construction Company, the main contractor for the project, was asked what fire safety equipment was available at the site and whether they were in line with the voluntary guidelines.

The company replied the cause of the incident was still under investigation and it was working with government departments.

A special task force was also formed by the Fire Services Department to look into the cause of the fire and improve fire safety precautions at construction sites.

The site, once the historic Mariners’ Club, is to be a 500-room Kimpton Hong Kong hotel and was expected to open next year. A new Mariners’ Club will be located in the building for 50 years.

Hong Kong uses a five-stage alarm system to rate fire severity, with five the most serious rating.

Newsletter

Related Articles

Hong Kong News
0:00
0:00
Close
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
×