Fire safety requirements in karaokes : comments on the new karaoke establishments bill

Wan Ki Chow

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic research


Consequent to a big arson fire in a karaoke, a new Karaoke Establishments Bill is to be implemented for providing a safer indoor environment for karaoke activities. A long list of fire safety provisions is specified. There are concerns from the local industry as it has not been demonstrated that following the new requirements will ensure fire safety. For example, fire safety objectives were worked out from an arson fire, not for an accidental fire. This would divert the issue from solving a safety problem to a security problem. As there would be significant cost on the construction works for providing fire safety; and disturbance to the normal business operation, the following building refurnishment works are of the most concern: - Increasing the corridor width from 1.05 m to 1.2 m; - Eliminating all ‘dead-ends’; and - Providing fire resistance construction on the partition wall.||Preliminary studies show that those three points are not critical. However, key items on providing fire safety are missed out: - Flame spreading over the internal corridor wall. - Heat release rate of a karaoke fire. - Smoke management in the corridor.||Further investigational works must be carried out as soon as possible. The possibility of using fire safety management as an alternative should be considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-66
Number of pages8
JournalInternational journal on engineering performance-based fire codes
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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