The 13,000 families in Mei Foo Sun Chuen live in deathtraps because of lax fire safety management, a district board member said. The project, developed by Mobil Oil, is among the oldest private housing estates in Kowloon. Shamshuipo District Board member Joe Wong Tak-chuen, a Mei Foo resident, said a survey after last November's Garley Building fire indicated the management company had not attached much importance to fire safety. 'There are only three fire alarms in each block - one on an upper floor, and the others on a middle and a lower floor. And in case of an emergency, I doubt if some elderly people would be able to hear the alarm. 'It was not until after the Garley fire that the company agreed to install a fire extinguisher at the caretaker's office in each block.' He said complaints about residents leaving smoke-prevention doors open were usually ignored by the management. 'There is no way out to the rooftop and, in case of a big fire, those living on the upper floors will be trapped. 'Residents are not paying enough attention to fire safety and the exits are often blocked by rubbish. They are not aware they are living in deathtraps, and fire safety advice often falls on deaf ears.' The deputy manager of estate management company Broadway-Nassau, Wong Chor-keung, said the facilities had passed inspections by the Fire Services Department. 'Our caretaker patrols each block three times a day to make sure everything is all right,' he said. The estate, which was completed in 1968 on West Kowloon waterfront, was once considered a luxury project and was popular with rich families. It is close to the aviation path and height limits prevent the blocks from being taller than 20 storeys. But rapid reclamation and container port development in Kwai Chung and Shamshuipo drove out the wealthier owners. Hong Kong Property Services managing director Michael Choi Ngai-min said: 'The estate's urban location served by MTR and buses has made it a prime choice for secondhand flat buyers.' Flats cost up to $5,000 a square foot.