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Fire Service (Installations and Equipment) (Amendment) Regulation 2023 to be gazetted on Friday
     A spokesperson for the Security Bureau said today (June 28) that the Government will publish the Fire Service (Installations and Equipment) (Amendment) Regulation 2023 in the Gazette on Friday (June 30), with a view to promoting the wider use of approved portable equipment of the public's own volition in domestic premises for enhancing home fire safety.
     The spokesperson said, "Portable equipment, such as fire extinguishers and fire blankets, are handy, easy to operate and very effective in putting out small fires. With portable equipment installed voluntarily in domestic premises, members of the public could tackle the fire early in case of fire at home, thereby enhancing home fire safety in a holistic manner.
     "Taking into account the effective enhancement of fire protection coverage with the voluntary installation of portable equipment in domestic premises, and the fact that portable equipment installed in domestic premises could be maintained in a better condition over years as they are free from external interference and are generally less susceptible to deterioration by factors, such as humidity, dust and human activities, etc, as well as the consideration that the Fire Services Department (FSD) has put in place an approval mechanism to examine the performance and safety aspects of the portable equipment when considering whether to grant the approval, the Government proposes to amend the Fire Service (Installations and Equipment) Regulations (FS(IE)R) to exclude approved portable equipment that is installed in domestic premises of one's own volition (i.e. not required by or pursuant to law) from the application of regulation 8(1) of FS(IE)R, to the effect that the owners of such portable equipment will be exempted from the statutory duty of keeping those equipment in efficient working order at all times and having them inspected by registered fire service installation contractors at least once in every 12 months." 
     "Nevertheless, owners of any portable equipment that are required by or pursuant to law to be installed in any premises, portable equipment in common area of domestic buildings (e.g. common corridors, lobbies, staircases, etc.) installed of one's own volition, and portable equipment installed of one's own volition in any premises which are not intended to be used solely or principally for residential purposes (such as industrial buildings, etc.) should continue to be subject to the relevant statutory duty," the spokesperson added.
     "The FSD will launch promotional activities to explain to the public the benefits of and how to use the portable equipment through social media and traditional media. It will also publish guidelines to facilitate the public in selecting appropriate portable equipment and in checking those equipment by themselves."
     The Government has consulted key stakeholders on the proposal, and they are in support of it. In addition, the FSD uploaded an information note regarding the above proposal onto its website in March for public information.
     The Amendment Regulation will be tabled at the Legislative Council for negative vetting on July 5, and is expected to become effective on November 1.
Ends/Wednesday, June 28, 2023
Issued at HKT 16:15
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