30th March 2005  to  31st March 2005

From the essential point of life and fire safety consideration, maintenance of any fire service installation and equipment is of equal importance to their appropriate design, application, usage and high level installation workmanship. As such, FSD has reinforced their requirements on inspection of annual maintenance of fire service installations/equipment in buildings carried out by the registered fire service installation contractors (FSICs).

Currently, FSD has formally * informed the industry, in order to ensure the fire and life safety protection systems/equipment maintained in good working order at all times, necessity to enhance the creditability of the industry and the operational efficiency of their front-line staff is inevitability required. Some new initiatives/arrangements have been enforced. Previously, annual maintenance inspection checks under central execution by FSD Headquarters has been transferred to district operation stations. As advised by FSD, this new arrangement can improve better familiarization of their operational staff about the operational conditions and status of existing fire/life safety protection systems/equipment in buildings at their responsible district. In addition, performance checks will be adopted during the inspections so as to ensure those systems/equipment are performing well at all times.

Apparently, there will be a need to increase the mutual understanding between FSD and the industry regarding the new arrangements and extent of their inspection requirements as well as the conventional maintenance practise of the industry. Hence, FSD and FSICA has jointly organised two seminars on 30-3-2005 and 31-3-2005 which were opened to audiences from FSD, the industry and the estate management personnel, ect… FSD officer, Mr. L.K.Yim representing FSD to deliver a speech in respect of the extent, inspection procedures and requirements of FSD on checking the annual maintained fire service systems/equipment carried out by FSICs. Mr. C.K.Chan representing FSICA to give a talk on the current annual maintenance practise of the industry, difficulties encountered and recommendations proposed. FSD advised that in the beginning stage of their new inspection arrangements, there would be only six commonly systems/equipment to be performance checked which included namely: (1) Fire Hydrant/Hose Reel System; (2) Dry Riser Installation; (3) Automatic Sprinkler System; (4) Manual Fire Alarm System; (5) Fire Detection System; & (6) Portable Hand-Operated Approved Appliances (i.e. portable fire extinguishers). However, may be in view of the difficulty for providing suitable alternative for simulation of pressure and flow test for fire hydrant through feeding water at the fire service inlet from fire engine when FSICs has been executing their annual maintenance on the system, FSD would not carry out such performance check on intermediate booster pumps at the beginning period.

During those seminars, FSICA has pointed out their difficulties in carrying out annual maintenance on fire services installations in old or multi-tenancy building especially when those buildings containing different portion of systems being maintained by various FSICs. For old buildings, there are always in lack of approved performance data and mandatory requirements regarding the system performance and application extent. Some other difficulties such as the viability for providing on load or full load tests for emergency generator sets have also been raised. FSICA also suggested some recommendations to FSD for review/consideration such as the set up of mandatory life span requirements for main plant and actuating sensors/devices of the system such as the fire pumps, fire detectors, etc… In connection of maintenance for portable fire extinguishers, FSICA also suggested to consider implementing permanent labels to be fixed aside the equipment in order to identify the type, capacity and approved placing location of relevant item.

Although there are still many questions being left behind for settlement, the seminars really served to provide the platform for FSD and the industry to exchange their opinions, views and for experience sharing. We trust that such occasions arrangement is a good start-up for the industry and the Authority to get closer and more mutual understanding between each other. We also believe that when things are on-going, the creditability of the industry and the reliability of the fire/life safety systems are being more enhanced.

Remarks: “*” means that the new arrangements and initiatives of FSD inspection on annual maintained fire and life safety systems/equipment are being enforced at around early March of 2005.


Francis Tang
Hon. Secretary

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