Fire Safety

Letters to the Editor, June 16, 2013

Stanley's eclectic charm is threatened. Photo: Dickson Lee

Liu Simin, a researcher with the Tourism Research Centre at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, was quoted as saying "Many Chinese tourists are just going abroad, and are often inexperienced and unfamiliar with overseas rules and norms". I disagree with such a statement. You do not have to be familiar with another culture in the civilised world to behave correctly.

Sunday, 16 June, 2013, 2:25am 2 comments

Fire officials put the nation at risk as they rake in bribes

Firefighters are admired but the service is corrupt. Photo: Xinhua

A veteran fire-safety engineer with more than two decades' experience in Wuhan, Hubei, estimates that up to half of the fire-prevention budget for a typical business goes to bribing fire officials at various levels, whose fire safety approval is needed before their doors can be opened to customers.

9 Jun 2013 - 6:34am

Vulnerable Tai O in need of help

Fire swept through a cluster of the Tai O fishing village's famous stilt houses, leaving 10 households homeless. Photo: Nora Tam

Tai O fishing village is an enduring tourist attraction that owes little to the kind of extravagant spending and promotion lavished on theme parks. It thrives on the timeless appeal of a simple, traditional lifestyle that attracts residents and visitors alike. Unfortunately, a marriage of modern amenity with authenticity does not always confer protection from fire, storm and tempest, as we were reminded by the fire that swept through a cluster of the village's famous stilt houses and left 10 households homeless.

6 May 2013 - 2:55am

Paper Talk

Candy Crush Saga is one of the many mobile phone games winning fans in Hong Kong.

Tests for the rice content of products sold as rice noodles at Wellcome supermarkets in Hong Kong have found two samples with only 0.4 grams of protein per 100 grams - suggesting they contain less than 10 per cent rice.

6 Apr 2013 - 4:02am

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. 

28 Mar 2013 - 7:10am

Scheme to help Fa Yuen Street fire victims 'just not enough'

(From left) Fan Pui-ying, Chan Kong-chiu, Andy So (fourth from left) and others at a press conference yesterday. Photo: Dickson Lee

The United Hawkers Development Platform and Chan Kong-chiu, a Fa Yuen Street hawker of 36 years, said the government's scheme to subsidise improvements to the stalls of the city's 4,300 hawkers in the 43 fixed-pitch hawker areas was not thorough enough.

25 Mar 2013 - 5:30am 1 comment

City Digest, February 25, 2013

Two teenage girls from Hong Kong allegedly detained in Buenos Aires, Argentina, by men demanding compensation for a valuable vase they had broken are safe and expected to go home soon, Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok said.

25 Feb 2013 - 5:27am

Lawmaker calls for better fire safety ruling for NT's small houses

Simon Watkiss, the father of the two children died in a fire at a house in Pat Heung Upper Village. Photo: SCMP

Simon Watkiss, who lost his sons to the October blaze in Yuen Long, was heartened by the support of Pok Fu Lam councillor Paul Zimmerman.

24 Feb 2013 - 5:02am

Buildings near hawker stalls at risk with nearly 900 fire hazards

Firemen demonstrate the use of an electric winch. Photo: Dickson Lee

Firefighters found about 900 fire hazards in inspections across the city on buildings near hawker stalls after the deadly Mong Kok blaze in late 2011.

6 Feb 2013 - 5:28am

Chaotic New Territories villages a recipe for tragedy, Zimmerman says

Paul Zimmerman

Elliot Watkiss, eight, and his brother Frankie, seven, died in their home in Wing Hing Wai, Yuen Long, in October after a fire broke out while they were asleep. The boys' father Simon Watkiss last week told the Sunday Morning Post that his sons' lives would have been saved if emergency vehicles had had proper access to the family's village home.

27 Jan 2013 - 5:00am

Fire safety is non-negotiable

Imagine a raid by police on a 26th-floor bar filled with under-age drinkers, followed by a stampede as the young patrons headed down the fire escape. If you can't, it is documented by a report in this newspaper in September 2010 which quoted the father of a teenager who was in the bar at the time. Luckily no one was injured.

22 Nov 2012 - 3:18am

Upstairs pubs warned over crowding and noise

Dr Ko Wing-man

Upstairs pubs may face tighter rules on customer numbers to ensure fire safety and noise controls, the health minister has warned.

Secretary for Food and Health Dr Ko Wing-man also reminded bars that their liquor licences could be shortened if they broke the law, such as selling alcohol to under-18s or hosting customers who took drugs on the premises.

12 Nov 2012 - 5:31am

Few lessons learned from Shanghai blaze disaster

Firefighters battle the blaze on November 15, 2010. Photo: AFP

Almost two years have passed since Shanghai's worst fire in six decades. The inferno claimed at least 58 lives, but authorities do not seem to have learned any lessons from the disaster.

Little has changed for residents of the city when it comes to fire safety. Most have never taken part in fire drills and few know much about prevention or how to escape the flames.

3 Nov 2012 - 8:37am 2 comments

Arts studio in factory deemed fire risk

An industrialist's initiative to convert part of his factory into a cheap rehearsal studio for artists has failed to win the support of the Planning Department.

The project has the support of the Home Affairs Bureau and the Arts Development Council, but does not satisfy fire safety requirements, the department said yesterday.

17 May 2012 - 12:00am

LEDs safe, experts say after hotel fire

A luxury hotel in North Point remains partially closed a week after a rooftop blaze forced the evacuation of hundreds of guests and sparked fears about the safety of light-emitting diode (LED) displays on buildings.

But Hongkongers had no need to worry, Professor Choi Hoi-wai from the University of Hong Kong's Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department said.

29 Apr 2012 - 12:00am