Students from Hong Kong will be able to study the deadly effects of smoke at a new research centre on the mainland. Asia's first Fire Safety and Technology Research Centre, set up with $3 million from Hong Kong Polytechnic University, is due to open in July. Students from the Polytechnic University and Anhui's University of Science and Technology, where the 27-metre high centre is being built, will share its facilities. Professor Chow Wan-ki, of the Polytechnic University's department of Building Services Engineering, said: 'Research will target smoke extraction, ventilation, sprinklers and testing escape routes from atrium buildings.' Hong Kong had more buildings with atriums than any other Asian city, he said. 'The centre is designed like a shopping arcade, so we can observe how smoke fills up spaces, how ventilation and sprinklers work and how much time is needed for escape,' he said. Huo Ran, a researcher on the science of fires at the Anhui University, said: 'The centre is useful for us to study how to extinguish blazes in factories. 'The Government has been more alert to the great number of fires at factories in Guangdong.' He said Guangdong lost more lives and property through fires than any other Chinese province. 'The number of blazes is decreasing with the Government's efforts,' he said.