Means of Escape and Means of Access for Firefighting and Rescue a. Every school shall be provided with adequate means of escape and access for

In document Guidelines for Extension of School Premises (Page 48-54)


6. Means of Escape and Means of Access for Firefighting and Rescue a. Every school shall be provided with adequate means of escape and access for

Appendix 5a

Guidelines for Extension of School Premises

(For Premises Not Designed and Constructed as a School) P.44

ii. The internal corridors serving the premises and other occupancies should be separated by fire barriers having an FRR of not less than that of the Use Classification of that floor. Where these FRRs differ, the higher the FRR value should be adopted. For premises situated in a shopping arcade, such separation is normally not required between the premises and the internal corridors of arcade.

iii. Openings for passage of ducts, pipes, wires etc., through fire barriers should be properly protected by fire resisting constructions in order to maintain the FRR of that fire barrier.

iv. In cases where new or modified fire barriers are involved2, a duly completed Form (Appendix A PNAP APP-13) with supporting test/assessment report from an AP/RSE shall be submitted to substantiate the FRR of the fire resisting components/ materials/ products.

Submission of such test/assessment report is not required if PNAP ADM-20 is applicable.

v. Doors should be installed with smoke seals under Clause C6.1 and C16.5 of the FS Code. Such provision usually applies to the entrance doors of the premises which form part of a protected lobby of a required staircase.

In addition, reference should be made to the prevailing requirements on the smoke seal performance in Clause E9.1 and E9.2 of the FS Code as amended by the Corrigenda issued on 22 January 2013 which have been uploaded to BD’s website at

6. Means of Escape and Means of Access for Firefighting and Rescue

Appendix 5a

Guidelines for Extension of School Premises

(For Premises Not Designed and Constructed as a School) P.45

b. The provision of means of escape in any particular floor of a building or in any building as a whole can only accommodate a specified maximum number of persons at any one time. The current FS Code sets out such limits and relates them to the width and number of exit routes and exit doors provided for each floor and for the whole building. It follows that if, as a result of the operation of a school, the existing population figure for a floor or for the building exceeds these limits, a recommendation for rejection of the application will be made. In assessing the population figures, applications in respect of premises located within the same building will be treated on a first-come-first-served basis. Some general requirements are listed below for reference:

i. For premises on the ground floor having direct access to a street, there would generally be no major problem on means of escape provision. For premises on upper storeys and basements, at least two exit staircases are required. Schools are not permitted to operate on the upper floors of single-staircase buildings, unless two extra exit staircases are provided to the school premises and the single staircase serving the whole building is sealed off therefrom.

ii. Any room/area/premises with a capacity exceeding 30 persons shall be provided with at least 2 exits. The exit doors shall open in the direction of exit and shall not obstruct any part of the exit route by the swing of the doors. The lines of direct distance from any point in the room/area/premises to the two exists shall form an angle of not less than 30º.

iii. Normally, the minimum width of an exit route shall be not less than 1050mm and greater width would be required depending on the total capacity of the school and that particular floor in which the school is situated. The exit doors shall have a minimum width of not less than 750mm for capacity between 4-30 persons; and 850mm for capacity between 31-200 persons with a total width of 1750mm. Reference should be made to Table B2 of the FS Code for the detailed requirements.

iv. All required exit routes shall lead directly to a street and the staircase enclosure wall shall be so continued at G/F as to separate from the remainder of the building in accordance with Clause B9.1 of the FS Code.

All exit routes shall have a clear height of not less than 2m and be kept free from obstruction. Every part of each exit route shall be provided with lighting of a horizontal illuminance at floor level of not less than 30 lux.

Appendix 5a

Guidelines for Extension of School Premises

(For Premises Not Designed and Constructed as a School) P.46

The lighting can be a combination of natural and artificial lighting and should be backed up by an emergency lighting system that complies with the Code of Practice for Minimum Fire Service Installations and Equipment.

v. All exit doors shall be capable of being readily opened from the inside without the use of a key. In the event of power failure/ emergency, the automatic sliding doors shall stay open to the full width and the electrical locking device of the doors should be released automatically.

vi. Security shutters across exits must be kept open during school hours.

vii. A solid separation of 450mm should be provided between the school and the final discharge point of an exit staircase of a building. The FRR of the solid separation should be not less than that of the enclosure wall of the staircase.

viii. Where the direction of travel from an exit door of a room to a staircase is possible in one direction only (i.e. dead-end), the dead-end travel distance from any part of a room to a protected exit or a point, from which travel in different directions to 2 or more exits is available, is limited to 18m. In other cases where alternative exit routes are available in more than one direction, it may vary from 36m to 45m, depending on the fire resisting construction of the exit routes.

ix. For the purpose of assessing the adequacy of means of escape, the capacity of the school is determined based on the sum of the population of the classes and the number of staff employed. In case that the maximum class size is not marked on the submitted plans, the population of the class is assessed in accordance with Regulation 40 of the Education Regulations.

x. All exit routes and the treads of steps and required staircases should have slip-resistant surfaces. The edges of the tread of steps and staircases along the exit route should be conspicuous.

Appendix 5a

Guidelines for Extension of School Premises

(For Premises Not Designed and Constructed as a School) P.47

7. Minor Works Control System

a. With the enactment of the Buildings (Amendment) Ordinance 2008 and a set of new regulations, the B(MW)R has been made to introduce a new system, the MWCS to control the carrying out of minor works. Apart from the original system under which prior approval and consent of the ICU have to be obtained for the carrying out of building works, a set of prescribed requirements that are simpler than the original system has been added to the BO by the above Amendment Ordinance and new regulations. The MWCS came into operation on 31 December 2010.

b. A new category of building works, namely “minor works”, and a new register of

“registered minor works contractors” (RMWC) for carrying out such minor works, have been introduced under the BO. In respect of minor works, the requirement to seek BA’s prior approval of plans and consent to the commencement of works can be dispensed with. Minor works are classified into three classes according to their nature, scale and complexity as well as the risk to safety they pose. Typical minor works associated with school premises include:

i. Removal of architectural projection, canopy, unauthorized floor slab or unauthorized structure;

ii. Erection, alteration, removal or strengthening of non-concrete canopy or supporting structure for an air-conditioning unit / water cooling tower;

iii. Erection, alteration or removal of drains;

iv. Erection, alteration or removal of internal staircase;

v. Formation or reinstatement of opening in a floor slab;

vi. Replacement of display surface, erection, alteration or removal of signboards; and

vii. Construction, alteration, repair or removal of window or window wall.

c. Alternatively, applicants may also appoint an AP to make formal submission of plans for minor works together with other building works of larger scale to the ICU for obtaining the requisite approval and consent prior to the commencement of such works.

Appendix 5a

Guidelines for Extension of School Premises

(For Premises Not Designed and Constructed as a School) P.48

d. The applicant should note that minor works violating the BO and its subsidiary regulations (including B(MW)R) are unauthorized building works and hence the application may not be accepted by the Permanent Secretary for Education. The ICU will separately process the minor works submission and conduct audit checks to ascertain compliance with the statutory requirements and ensure the quality and standards of minor works. Should these minor works be not completed in compliance with the BO and its subsidiary regulations (for example, without appointment of prescribed building professional (if required) and/or prescribed registered contractor to carry out minor works), separate enforcement actions may be taken by the ICU against such works. The applicant should note that the issue of a certificate under the Education Ordinance should not be construed as these minor works being completed in accordance with the BO and its subsidiary regulations.

e. Designated Exempted Works (DEW) are also introduced under the MWCS. They can be carried out without prior approval and consent to the commencement of works from the ICU nor following the simplified requirements of MWCS. The typical DEW meeting certain criteria that are associated with the premises include:

i. Erection or alteration of wall signboard (including the replacement of the display surface);

ii. Removal of a wall signboard;

iii. Removal of supporting structure on ground or on a slab for air-conditioning units/ water cooling towers/ solar water heating systems/ photovoltaic systems;

iv. Erection, alteration or removal of canopies;

v. Erection, alteration or removal of metal supporting frame for an air-conditioning unit or any associated duct from external wall of building;

vi. Formation of an opening in a floor slab; and

vii. Reinstatement of an opening in a floor slab according to the original design.

f. More comprehensive guidance is available and can be downloaded from BD’s website at

Appendix 5a

Guidelines for Extension of School Premises

(For Premises Not Designed and Constructed as a School) P.49

8. Unauthorized Building Works Affecting Public Safety

a. Unauthorized building works in premises under application for school registration may pose a risk to the safety of the staff, teachers and students. Applicants are therefore advised to exercise extreme care in selecting premises for school use, as the presence of unauthorized building works, such as unauthorized sub-division of a floor into separate units without the provision of protected internal corridor required in paragraph 5(b)(ii) above, unauthorized cockloft, unauthorized slab over staircase or cockloft void and unauthorized building works in common areas resulting in obstruction of means of escape from the school or other occupancies, may render the premises unsuitable for school registration. If the premises selected for school use contains unauthorized building works, the applicant is strongly advised to effect removal of such works before submitting an application.

Such removal works may also be subject to the control of the B(MW)R. Details of the minor works items and the associated requirements can be viewed at BD’s website at

b. A list of unauthorized building works affecting public safety is provided at Appendix 5b for reference.

c. If the applicant intends to erect advertising signboard, submission of plans to ICU for approval is necessary unless such signboard will be constructed under the B(MW)R as appropriate. In general, advertising signs projecting over a pavement should have a minimum vertical clearance of 3.5m and a minimum horizontal clearance of 1.0m from the curb of such pavement. Advertising signs projecting over a carriageway should have a minimum vertical clearance of 5.8m.

Advertising signs which fall within the classes of minor works should be commenced and carried out according to the B(MW)R.

d. The applicants’ attention is drawn to the Disability Discrimination Ordinance and Design Manual: Barrier Free Access (DM) issued by BD in regard to the provision of access and facilities for persons with a disability. The removal or alteration of existing approved access and facilities (e.g. ramps and toilets, etc.) that hinder the access and facilities for persons with a disability may be subject to enforcement and prosecution actions under the BO and the prevailing policy. The DM can be obtained from the BD or downloaded from its website at

Appendix 5a

Guidelines for Extension of School Premises

(For Premises Not Designed and Constructed as a School) P.50

In document Guidelines for Extension of School Premises (Page 48-54)