Support on carrying out full-scale burning tests for karaokes

Wan Ki Chow

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic research


Consequent to a big arson fire in a karaoke establishment, a new Karaoke Establishments Bill is to be implemented for providing a safer indoor environment for karaoke activities. There, 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. Building refurbishment works on corridor width, deadends and fire resistant construction of the partition walls are the three main points. Earlier studies show that those points are not too critical in providing fire safety. Instead, the heat release rate of burning in a karaoke should be studied.||Heat release rate is an important parameter that will affect the course of a fire by providing the driving energy. Earlier surveys of local karaokes indicated that furniture, partition materials, surface linings, floor coverings and carpets are the key combustible items. The importance of studying the probable heat release rate by burning those combustibles in a karaoke box is pointed out.||Full-scale burning tests on selected designs of karaoke should be performed to identify key issues on fire safety. The heat release rate of burning in a karaoke box under local design can then be modeled with the aid of the measured data. Room fire models might be applied to understand the probable fire environment. Results will be applied to investigate how the fire safety provisions can be improved. These include providing better passive building design such as the application of fire retardants; and designing appropriate active fire protection systems. The information is necessary for implementing the new generation of building fire safety codes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-112
Number of pages9
JournalInternational journal on engineering performance-based fire codes
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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