Most of the department's work is behind the scenes, with people unaware just how often it touches their daily lives. Its 50th anniversary special publication, however, offers a revealing look at just how interwoven its services can be with life in Hong Kong. Here are some everyday examples. At birth: EMSD is responsible for making sure all the sophisticated hospital equipment is operating efficiently, thus ensuring the well- being of mother and child. At school: EMSD makes the school a safer place through the administration of ordinances relating to electrical and mechanical installations. At the Space Museum: EMSD maintains the exhibits and works to introduce entertaining interactive displays and multimedia presentations. At secondary school swimming lessons: EMSD looks after the water filtration systems in public pools. Your driving test: EMSD maintains and monitors traffic control systems. Your first date, a concert at the Cultural Centre: EMSD plays a role behind the limelight by maintaining the air-conditioning, stage lighting and theatre systems in cultural venues. The high-speed lift that whisks you to work in seconds: EMSD monitors the safety under the Lifts and Escalators (Safety) Ordinance. After a wedding when the couple looks forward to a honeymoon: EMSD maintains all the airfield lighting systems, baggage-handling systems as well as the air-condition ing and electrical systems at Hong Kong International Airport. Electrical appliances for your new home: EMSD enforces the Electrical Product (Safety) regulation to ensure all household electrical products are safe and operates an energy-efficiency labelling scheme to provide information on the energy efficiency of electrical appliances. When an ambulance is rushing a patient to hospital: EMSD helps keep the police, fire and ambulance fleets operating. Such events illustrate how safety plays a big part in EMSD's work and therefore people's lives. The department issues guidelines and codes of practice on safety, and administers several safety ordinances. It also acts as the technical and safety consultant to the Government on a wide range of safety issues, and advises on necessary legislation to ensure their implementation. One list of ordinances covers lifts and escalators - without which much of Hong Kong would grind to a halt. Builders' lifts on construction sites and tower working platforms are covered. EMSD monitors the performance of lifts and escalators through regulation and certification. This involves qualified lift engineers registered with the department making annual inspections of about 33,000 lifts, and checks every six months on about 15,000 escalators. The Electricity Ordinance aims to protect the public by ensuring the safe supply, delivery and use of electricity. To guarantee the safety of all electrical installations in buildings, EMSD administers the ordinance through a system of regulation, monitoring and periodic inspections. Following a spate of tragic accidents in the late 1970s involving the improper use of gas water heaters, the Gas Advisory Office was set up in 1982 to examine safety issues and to establish guidelines. Later evolving into the Gas Standards Office, the office oversaw the introduction of the Gas (Safety) Ordinance in 1990. While the spirit of the legislation calls for self-regulation, EMSD maintains close links with Towngas and liquefied-petroleum gas suppliers. The department registers gas supply companies, gas installers and contractors, approves noticeable gas installations, inspects and issues gas vehicle permits. To ensure public safety, it conducts risk assessment studies and unannounced inspections. It also issues improvement notices and prosecutes offenders for non-compliance with the ordinance. It is also involved in investigating gas-related incidents such as leakages, fires and explosions. Another group of ordinances which EMSD is responsible for covers trams, the Peak Tramway, aerial ropeways and amusement parks. When Ocean Park was about to open in 1977, the department's advice was sought over the safety of the cable car system - at the time the largest of its kind in the world, with a carrying capacity of 5,000 passengers an hour in each direction.