AL approves fire safety regulation amendment giving firemen law enforcement powers

The Legislative Assembly (AL) has approved the amendment of the fire safety regulation during last week’s plenary meeting.

The bill has eight new items: expanding the scope of application of the law; re-defining powers; introducing measures of “self-protection obligations;” filling up loopholes in fire safety technical specifications and in special requirements for performance-based design; approval procedures for professional plans; setting fire protection qualification system; strengthen preventive and legal supervision measures; and upgrade the penalty system.

Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak said that the current fire safety law, which has been used for over 25 years, has many problems, including unclear policies for penalty or punishment, are lenient. The regulations are relatively vague.

“Real law is to be enforced, not to be put on display,” Wong said.

The bill adds that the Fire Services Bureau (CB) has supervisory authority and the law gives the department the right to issue fines.

The law also sets up three levels of administrative offense: extremely severe, severe and minor.

Offenders can be subjected to a fine from 2,000 patacas up to 200,000 patacas.

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