To promote the message of building safety and timely maintenance, the Buildings Department (BD) of the Development Bureau organises seminars on various topics for the building industry, property owners, property management companies and schools every year. Under the pandemic, however, face-to-face seminars are no longer a suitable option. In view of that, the BD has recently organised its first online seminar to talk about building drainage pipes and share tips on precautionary measures during the typhoon season, which are the topics of interest for the general public and property management practitioners alike. The response was overwhelming.
Seminars on the talk of the town
The BD aims to provide an array of building safety information in its seminars, the work on this front has not stopped even in the face of the epidemic. Themed on the “Introduction of Drainage System of Multi-Storey Buildings in Hong Kong” and “Precautionary Measures for Building Safety during Typhoon Season”, the BD’s first online seminar held earlier on was targeted mainly for property management practitioners. According to Mr TANG Kwok-kuen, Senior Professional Officer of the Public Education and Publicity Unit of the BD, the seminar which covers some burning issues in town has received an overwhelming response and attracted an audience of almost 150 property management practitioners.
The BD will organise the same type of online seminar for the professional sector and members of the public in October. Two online talks (as shown in the picture) covering topics on the drainage system and information on unauthorised building works, dilapidated buildings and fire safety will also be held in November and December for property management practitioners.
Building surveyors explaining the design of a drainage system
Mr NG Yue-yan, Joe, Building Surveyor of the BD, who conducts the online seminar tells us that Hong Kong is a small and densely-populated city. Hong Kong people are mostly living in multi-storey buildings but they probably do not have much ideas about the design of the buildings’ drainage system. As we are all staying home as far as possible due to the current epidemic, home hygiene now ranks the top priority of the Hong Kong people. Given that drainage pipe problems can cause health issues, and property management staff are often faced with enquiries about the building’s drainage system, the BD seminars come just timely to enhance the public’s knowledge in this respect.
In the seminar, Mr NG tells us about the components of a drainage system, including the functions of traps, anti-syphonage pipes and ventilating pipes, and the knowledge required for inspection and maintenance of drainage pipes. For instance, irregularities such as odour from the floor drains or anti-syphonage pipes and seepage or cracks at drainage pipes may indicate a drainage problem, in that case, prompt arrangement should be made to engage qualified professionals or contractors to conduct checking and repairs. Mr NG hopes to enhance the property management companies’ knowledge about the drainage system through the online sharing, who would then in turn share their knowledge with the property owners, and help them handle their drainage issues. It is our common goal to fight the pandemic together to create a safe and healthy living environment.
Sharing tips on precautions against typhoon
Meanwhile, typhoon season is here in Hong Kong. We have issued the first typhoon Signal No. 9 of the year not long ago. We understand that members of the public are particularly concerned about the precautionary measures to follow before a typhoon approaches. In this connection, Mr NG shares a series of precautionary measures against typhoon in the seminar. Some of the tips include that we should conduct early inspection of windows and glass doors, ensure all installations at the building exteriors are in secure and safe condition, cordon off the area within the possible tree fall zones, inspect slopes and retaining walls within the property development, ensure gondolas are parked at safe locations, and ensure water drains and rainwater manholes are in good working order and without blockage.
Hong Kong is a high-density city. The quality of building conditions are closely related to the daily life of the general public. The BD will continue to promote a culture for building safety, highlighting the importance of regular and proper building maintenance by private property owners. We must give concerted effort to make Hong Kong a safe, liveable and dynamic city.
Let’s join the Universal Community Testing Programme
In view of the epidemic situation, the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) has co-ordinated the voluntary free COVID-19 testing for its front-line staff who have frequent contact with the public or those who have to work in premises such as hospitals or quarantine centres, as well as the lift and escalator trade practitioners. I visited the EMSD Headquarters recently and was briefed by the Director of Electrical and Mechanical Services, Mr PANG Yiu-hung, on the details of the testing arrangements. I also chatted with the registered lift and escalator contractors who helped distribute self-sampling kits to their employees and showed my support for the EMSD colleagues offering assistance on-site. Once again, I would like to express my gratitude to the trade members and our colleagues for their support and assistance. Standing together, we can fight the pandemic.
The Government will launch the Universal Community Testing Programme (UCTP) on 1 September and 141 community testing centres will be set up in all districts across the territory for the public’s convenience. I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to you all to take part in the UCTP for your health and that of your families; to protect yourselves and others, and for us to identify as early as possible the asymptomatic COVID-19 patients in the community and achieve the target of early identification, early isolation and early treatment to cut the community transmission chain.
30 August, 2020Back