A mini-storage industry representative on Wednesday rejected a coroner’s suggestion for the government to introduce a licensing system for operators, saying the existing safety mechanism is already adequate.
Coroner Philip Wong made the proposal on Tuesday as he ruled that two firemen had died of misadventure when they were fighting a blaze that broke out at a mini storage facility in Kowloon Bay six years ago.
But Andrew Work, the executive director of the Self Storage Association Asia, said the association has in place a cerifitcation programme called S.A.F.E., which stands for “self storage, assured, fit-out and endorsement”.
He explained that operators who joined the programme would have had qualified professionals vet and certify their facility's compliance with government regulations.
"Right now we have the strictest regulations in the world, and that should be sufficient… Adding another layer of bureaucracy on top of it, it's hard to see what the objectives would be there," he told RTHK.
"It's like you got an A for your exam, you show your parents, and they insist on calling the teacher to get affirmation, it's just a lot more work for the teacher but it doesn't change the grade."
The coroner’s court also proposed that tenants of industrial buildings be required to attend fire drills, following the testimony of a staff member at the storage unit that he didn't know how to use a fire extinguisher.
Work agreed and said it's incumbent upon operators to conduct training and use technology to ensure “maximise fire safety”.