2012-02-18: It will be of interest to people in this part of the world that Hong Kong has introduced a New Code of Practice on Fire Safety in Buildings, which will come into effect from 1 April 2012. The reason for this interest will be strange and unusual …
Hong Kong Buildings Department
Click the Link Above to read and/or download PDF File (3.96 Mb)
The following extract from the Foreward (paragraph #3) to this Code of Practice explains how it came to be developed … and then issued back in September 2011 …
This Code of Practice may be cited as the Code of Practice for Fire Safety in Buildings. It is prepared and issued by the Buildings Department on the basis of the consultancy study on fire engineering approach and fire safety in buildings. The consultancy study was conducted by Ove Arup & Partners Hong Kong Ltd., commissioned by the Buildings Department, and was supervised by a Steering Committee comprising representatives of professional institutions and other stakeholders of the building industry, as well as other Government Departments.
It so happens that, here, a few weeks ago … I was wondering how the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was being implemented in a number of countries which had ratified it. China ratified the Convention on 1 August 2008. Once again, this is Article 11 …
UN CRPD Article 11 – Situations of Risk & Humanitarian Emergencies
States Parties shall take, in accordance with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law, all necessary measures to ensure the protection and safety of persons with disabilities in situations of risk, including situations of armed conflict, humanitarian emergencies and the occurrence of natural disasters.
[ Note: An outbreak of fire in a building is a situation of serious risk for all vulnerable building users ! ]
So … what has been the response of Hong Kong to this issue … and to the voluntary obligation which China has accepted, under International Law, to comply with Article 11 of the UN CRPD ?
The issue has been completely ignored in the New Code of Practice !