Motion Speeches

工業大廈的消防安全 Fire safety of industrial buildings

 以下是今日(七月十三日)在立法會會議上盧偉國議員的提問和保安局局長黎棟國的答覆:

問題:

  近年,有不少工業大廈(下稱「工廈」)的單位被改作各類用途。上月九龍灣一幢舊式工廈內數層單位發生四級火警,大火焚燒多日才被撲熄,並造成多名消防人員傷亡。當局表示,由於有關單位被分間為數以百計的迷你倉,布局十分複雜,而且各迷你倉均被鎖上,所以滅火困難。該宗火警令人關注工廈的消防安全。就此,政府可否告知本會:

(一)過去三年,每年當局對舊式工廈進行消防安全巡查的次數,以及向相關人士發出消除火警危險通知書的數目;

(二)會否盡快制訂指引,對舊式工廈的迷你倉的布局、間隔物料、存放物品種類、基本消防設施等進行規管;若會,詳情為何;若否,原因為何;及

(三)會否在參考外國經驗後修訂有關法例,規定工廈的擁有人、業主立案法團及物業管理公司,須定期安排為有關樓宇進行火警風險評估,而該等評估在指定情況下須由註冊消防工程師進行,以便當局在確認樓宇符合規定後發出消防安全證書;若會,詳情為何;若否,原因為何?

 

答覆:

主席:

  淘大工業村發生的四級火警,是近年消防處面對最大困難的大火之一。事發迷你倉的設計,導致灌救極度困難。消防人員面對着200多個迷你倉,布局複雜,間隔縱橫交錯,通道狹窄,起火後溫度極高,而且所有迷你倉的倉門都上了鎖,大大增加了滅火的難度。我藉此機會,再一次感謝和表揚各位消防和救護人員努力不懈,撲滅這場大火。

  政府明白市民大眾對迷你倉消防安全的關注。由保安局領導的跨部門工作小組已經展開工作,探討採取短、中及長期措施,加強迷你倉及類似處所的消防安全。就盧議員問題的三個部分,我現回覆如下:

(一)消防處在二○一○年四月成立「工業大廈執法專隊」跟進工業大廈違規事項。截至今年五月底,專隊共進行10 868次跟進巡查,並發出2 864張消除火警危險通知書。消防處亦將其他懷疑違規事項轉介至相關部門跟進。

  另一方面,屋宇署於二○一二年開始針對工廈單位被非法用作住用用途進行大規模行動,截至今年五月底已巡查99幢目標工廈,並已發出110張清拆令及中止更改用途命令。此外,若屋宇署接獲市民或其他部門有關工廈涉嫌違反《建築物條例》(第123章)的舉報,會按情況派員巡查並作出跟進,但屋宇署沒有分類備存相關統計數字。

(二)根據現時掌握的資料,全港現時約有500多間迷你倉,主要位於各區的工廈內。不過,無論迷你倉位處何種類型的建築物,都需要遵守其建成時適用的消防及樓宇安全規定,以及其他適用的法例要求。就消防安全而言,迷你倉須符合有關提供火警逃生途徑及消防和救援進出途徑等規定。就樓宇結構安全而言,迷你倉的樓板須符合有關承載力的規定。

  消防處、屋宇署、地政總署和勞工處正巡查全港的迷你倉及類似處所,檢視這些處所有否違反現行法例的規定。如在巡查時發現有違反《消防條例》(第95章)或《危險品條例》(第295章)的情況,消防處會根據相關條文作出檢控或向有關人士發出消除火警危險通知書。如發現有僭建物,屋宇署可根據《建築物條例》發出命令,要求清拆有關僭建物。此外,消防處及相關部門最近亦已與本港迷你倉的主要營運者會面,向業界表明政府對迷你倉消防安全高度重視,並要求業界盡快採取各種可行的管理措施,提升迷你倉內的消防安全,其中包括加強保安人手、防止危險品的存放、加強員工的防火訓練、確保消防裝置有效運作等。

(三)現時工廈的消防安全,主要由《建築物條例》規管。工廈內的消防裝置及設備,須符合大廈建成時適用的消防裝置及設備要求。大廈的擁有人或佔用人並須確保該等消防裝置及設備時刻在有效的操作狀態,而消防處及屋宇署亦會不時巡查。如巡視過程中發現有違規之處,部門會採取執法行動。

  盧議員的建議,是規定工廈的擁有人等,須定期安排註冊消防工程師進行火警風險評估。

  容許市場上的合資格人士進行消防安全風險評估工作的註冊消防工程師計劃,現時尚未實施。政府首先要得到立法會的支持,在今次的會議內,完成審議及通過《2015年消防(修訂)條例草案》,之後才可以就計劃細節制定附屬法例,註冊消防工程師計劃才可以推行。這項計劃會在訂明處所例如食肆、酒店等的牌照申請過程中實施。是否以及如何把計劃擴展至其他範疇,是消防處後續研究的工作之一。

  正如我們較早前承諾,政府會研究如何修訂法例,以加強規管迷你倉的消防安全。對於任何有助提升消防安全的建議,我們表示歡迎,會審慎研究每一項建議的可行性。政府會繼續聆聽意見,研究不同立法方案,亦會參考其他地區的相關經驗。當局會在立法會復會後盡快向相關的事務委員會匯報進度,我們的目標是在下個立法年度提出法例修訂的建議。

 

   Following is a question by the Ir Dr Hon Lo Wai-kwok and a reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Lai Tung-kwok, in the Legislative Council today (July 13):

 

Question:

     In recent years, quite a number of units in industrial buildings have been converted for various uses.  Last month, a No. 4 alarm fire broke out in units on several storeys in an old industrial building in Kowloon Bay.  The fire had raged for several days and caused injuries to and death of a number of fire personnel before it was extinguished.  The authorities indicated that as the units concerned had been sub-divided into hundreds of mini-storages, making the layout very complicated, and the various mini-storages were locked, it was difficult to put out the blaze.  The fire has aroused concern about the fire safety of industrial buildings.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) of the number of fire safety inspections conducted by the authorities on old industrial buildings and the number of Fire Hazard Abatement Notices issued to the persons concerned, in each of the past three years;

(2) whether it will expeditiously formulate guidelines to regulate the layouts, partition materials, types of items to be stored and basic fire service facilities, etc. in respect of the mini-storages in old industrial buildings; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

(3) whether it will, upon making reference to overseas experience, amend the relevant legislation to require owners, owners’ corporations and property management companies of industrial buildings to regularly arrange fire risk assessments to be conducted for the buildings concerned and such assessments, under specified circumstances, be conducted by registered fire engineers, so as to facilitate the authorities to issue fire safety certificates after ensuring the buildings’ compliance with the requirements; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?

 

Reply:

President,

     The No. 4 alarm fire at the Amoycan Industrial Centre was one of the biggest challenges faced by the Fire Services Department (FSD) in recent years.  The design of the mini-storage made the firefighting operation extremely difficult.  The firefighters had to deal with some 200 mini-storage cubicles, with a complicated layout, maze-like partitions and narrow passageways filled with intense heat due to the fire.  Worse still, all of the cubicles were locked, which significantly added to the difficulty of firefighting.  I would like to take this opportunity to express again my gratitude and appreciation towards all the fire and ambulance personnel for their dedication and diligence for putting out the blaze.

     We appreciate the public’s concerns over the fire safety of mini-storages.  The inter-departmental working group led by the Security Bureau has set out to explore short, medium and long-term measures to enhance the fire safety of mini-storages and similar premises.  My reply to the three parts of the question raised by Ir Dr Hon Lo is as follows:

(1) FSD set up an Industrial Building Enforcement Team in April 2010 to follow up on the irregularities identified in industrial buildings.  As at end May 2016, the task force conducted 10 868 follow-up inspections and issued 2 864 Fire Hazard Abatement Notices (FHANs).  FSD has also referred some other suspected irregularity cases to relevant departments for follow-up.

     Separately, the Buildings Department (BD) has been conducting a large-scale operation against illegal domestic use of units in industrial buildings since 2012.  As at end May 2016, BD inspected 99 target industrial buildings and issued 110 removal and discontinuation orders.  Additionally, if BD receives reports from members of the public or other departments concerning industrial buildings in contravention of the Buildings Ordinance (Cap 123), its staff will conduct inspections and follow-up as appropriate.  However, BD does not keep such statistics.     

(2) According to information available at this stage, there are over 500 mini-storages in Hong Kong and they are mainly located in industrial buildings in various districts.  Nonetheless, regardless of the type of building in which the mini-storages are located, the building shall comply with the fire and building safety requirements applicable at the time the building was completed, as well as other applicable statutory requirements.  With respect to fire safety, mini-storages must comply with the relevant requirements on the provision of means of escape and means of access for firefighting and rescue purposes, etc.  In relation to structural safety of buildings, the floor slabs of mini-storages must conform to the relevant loading requirements.

     FSD, BD, the Lands Department and the Labour Department are now inspecting mini-storages and similar premises in Hong Kong to check if there is any breach of the existing statutory requirements.  For any breaches of the Fire Services Ordinance (Cap 95) or the Dangerous Goods Ordinance (Cap 295) identified during inspection, FSD will institute prosecution against or issue a Fire Hazard Abatement Notice (FHAN) to the person(s) concerned under the relevant provisions.  For unauthorised building works, BD will issue orders for removal of such works under the Buildings Ordinance.  In addition, FSD and the relevant departments have recently met with the major operators of mini-storages in Hong Kong and expressed the Government’s grave concern over the fire safety of mini-storages.  The departments asked the trade to take all possible management measures as soon as possible to improve fire safety, including increasing the number of security personnel, preventing storage of dangerous goods, strengthening fire prevention training for their employees, ensuring the effective working order of fire service installations and equipment (FSI) etc.

(3) At present, the fire safety of industrial buildings is largely regulated by the Buildings Ordinance.  The FSI in an industrial building shall comply with those requirements applicable at the time when the building was constructed.  The owners or occupiers shall ensure that such FSI are in effective working order at all times.  FSD and BD would also conduct inspections periodically.  Where irregularities are identified during the inspections, the departments will take enforcement actions. 

     Ir Dr Hon Lo suggests that the owners and etc. of industrial buildings should be required to regularly arrange registered fire engineers to conduct fire risk assessments on the buildings.   

     The Registered Fire Engineer (RFE) Scheme, which enables qualified persons to conduct fire safety risk assessment, is not yet in force.  The Government would first need to have the support of the Legislative Council (LegCo) in deliberating and passing the Fire Services (Amendment) Bill 2015 at this meeting, and then make subsidiary legislation to provide for the details of the RFE Scheme, before it could be brought into operation.  The Scheme will be implemented in the licensing process for prescribed premises such as restaurants and hotels.  Whether and how the Scheme would be extended to other areas is a subject for FSD’s follow-up studies.

     As committed previously, the Government will study how to amend the law in order to strengthen the regulation of fire safety of mini-storages.  We welcome any proposals which might enhance fire safety, and the feasibility of each proposal will be carefully studied.  The Government will continue to listen to views from the public and examine different legislative approaches, taking into account relevant experiences in other jurisdictions.  Upon resumption of LegCo, the authorities will report progress to the relevant Panels as soon as practicable, with a view to putting forward legislative amendment proposals within the next LegCo session.

立法會盧偉國議員 博士 工程師 (工程界)
Legislative Council Ir Dr Hon Lo Wai Kwok (Functional Constituency - Engineering)