Building Inspection

Hong Kong buildings still unsafe after Fa Yuen fire

Fa Yuen Street, Mong Kok. Photo: May Tse

The tragic blaze sparked by a row of hawker stalls at the doorstep of a Mong Kok building in late 2011 is a hard-earned lesson for everyone. Not only did it claim nine innocent lives, it highlighted the risks of ill-managed roadside stalls and thousands of old blocks with similar problems - cubicle flats, blocked fire escapes, poor building management. Sixteen months later, an inquest on the fatal accident reminds us that many buildings are still far from being safe. 

Thursday, 28 March, 2013, 7:10am

Shenzhen construction on hold after alert over cheap sand in concrete

An artist's impression of the Pingan Financial Centre.

More projects are likely to be affected as the Shenzhen government ordered a citywide inspection into the practice, which they said was common throughout the Pearl River Delta. Untreated sea sand contains high levels of salt and chloride that could corrode steel reinforcements, causing buildings to collapse.

16 Mar 2013 - 4:57am 1 comment

What's being said on

On a proposal to require new buildings in HK to be built to withstand earthquakes:

Ellen Oi Lun Cheung - Risk of earthquake in Hong Kong? This is the first I have ever heard of it. Look at those vulnerable tall and skinny buildings on the slopes. Hope the quake will never happen.

24 Oct 2012 - 2:19am

Law on building inspections being drafted

The government was drafting legislation for a mandatory building inspection scheme and a mandatory window inspection scheme to require private building owners to check their buildings and windows regularly, Secretary for Development Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said yesterday.

11 Jun 2015 - 4:29pm


Drafting in teams of official building inspectors would not necessarily improve the quality of government apartment blocks, the housing chief said.

At present, blocks of flats under Housing Authority control are exempt from government building inspections.

12 Jan 2000 - 12:00am

Cracks warning

Balconies with cracks wider than 1mm are considered unsafe, the Building Department has warned, advising owners to conduct regular checks of balconies, which may have cracks hidden by decorative materials.

18 Feb 1999 - 12:00am

Loans for landlords

NEEDY landlords may be given loans by the Government to pay for building inspections, Director of Buildings Dr Choi Yu-leuk said yesterday.

But Dr Choi ruled out subsidising the inspections.

A consultation paper was issued last week on the Building Safety Inspection Scheme, which requires mandatory checks on private buildings that are more than 20 years old.

31 Aug 1997 - 12:00am

Advance warning on building inspections amounts to cheating, says official

TIP-OFFS and loopholes in construction site inspections have been condemned as a threat to workers' lives and building standards.

The Construction Site Workers General Union has expressed concern that ineffective inspections lead to poor site safety and conditions, which erode building standards.

6 Dec 1993 - 12:00am