4 clubs caught in fire-safety blitz

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 20 September, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 20 September, 2008, 12:00am

Four karaoke nightclubs in old buildings have been prosecuted for lacking operating permits, the government has said.

The clubs were caught in a safety inspection held following a fatal fire in Mong Kok last month.

More than 100 fire-warning notices were also issued during the month-long inspection, which targeted 81 karaoke bars in 64 residential and commercial premises built before 1987.

The inspections by a taskforce from the fire services, home affairs, environmental hygiene and buildings departments were continuing.

'The officers will complete the inspection of all karaoke nightclubs in residential-commercial buildings constructed after 1987, as well as those located in commercial premises,' he said.

Each department has sent 15 to 18 officers to the team.

The prosecutions were believed to include a karaoke club at Cornwall Court in Mong Kok that reopened soon after four people, including two firemen, were killed there.

The Mei Ko Mui Night Club, on the second floor of the 15-storey building, was providing karaoke services without an operating permit, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department said this month.

Meanwhile, the 105 fire hazard abatement notices had warned karaoke bars about missing or defective emergency lighting or exit signs, obstruction of sprinklers, or fire doors failing to close automatically.

The spokesman said interdepartmental meetings would be held regularly to step up co-operation and exchange reports.

The Fire Services Department would also conduct random inspections of safety devices.

'But fire safety of premises cannot depend solely on inspections or enforcement,' the spokesman said. 'The public must also raise their awareness to follow the regulations.'