False alarm caused by floating particles

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 14 July, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 14 July, 2002, 12:00am

We refer to the letter from Rebecca Wong headlined 'Unhappy with library's evacuation procedures' (Sunday Morning Post, June 30).


The Hong Kong Central Library has issued guidelines to all staff regarding the handling of emergency and crisis situations. Regular briefings and fire drills are conducted to familiarise staff with safety and evacuation procedures.


On June 20, a false alarm was recorded due to the malfunctioning of a smoke detector on the fifth floor of the library. It had been triggered by floating particles in the air. At 5.33pm fire alarms in the building were activated, causing the fire shutters to roll down automatically.


When staff saw this happening, they acted promptly to find out what was happening and to calm readers and ask them to wait for any evacuation arrangement that might prove necessary.


According to our records, security staff confirmed it was a false alarm and action was taken immediately to reset the fire control system to stop the alarm bell from ringing at 5.38pm. A public announcement was made to inform readers of the false alarm. At 5.55pm, all fire shutters were raised again and normal operations resumed. We would like to apologise to Ms Wong and other library users who were present and concerned about the incident.


We will certainly review the existing evacuation procedures in the light of the experience gained from the incident.


If Ms Wong has any further queries, she is welcome to contact me on 2921 0221.


YVONNE KWOK


Senior Marketing Co-ordinator


for Director of Leisure and Cultural Services