Mini-storage refers to premises providing separate self storage cubicles to individuals for storing household goods or to small business for storing inventory or archived records.
Mini-storages should comply with the fire safety requirements stipulated under the FS Code. The common contraventions of the FS Code found in mini-storages are:
- Excessive travel distance in the exit routes due to extensive partitioning of the storage cubicles.
- Inadequate width of exit routes along aisles between the storage cubicles due to swing-out cubicle doors.
- Obstruction to the exit routes by exit doors with unsuitable locking devices (i.e. could not be readily opened from inside without the use of a key).
- Replacement of fire rated doors by doors with inadequate fire resisting rating.
The aisles between the storage cubicles form part of the exit route and their clear width should not be less than that required under Table B2 of the FS Code (i.e. at least 1050mm wide, excluding the swing path(1) of any doors). Having regard to the mode of operation of mini-storages and the fire risk, the following arrangements are considered acceptable:
- For storage cubicles with usable floor area of not more than 5m2 and self-closing cubicle doors, the minimum clear width between the swing path of the cubicle doors and the walls or swing path of the doors on the opposite side of the aisle is 750mm.
- For storage cubicles with usable floor area of not greater than 1.5m2 and self-closing cubicle doors that can be opened flat against adjoining walls/cubicles and do not obstruct the swing path of the doors on the opposite side of the aisle, the door swing can be disregarded in measuring the clear width of the aisle.
The general requirements for mini-storages are:
- The maximum deadend travel distance between the furthest point on the premises to a point where an alternative exit is available is 18m.
- The maximum travel distance to the nearest protected exit (including deadend travel distance) is 36m.
- The maximum length of the exit route between an escape staircase and any one of the other escape staircases is 48m.
The Fire Services Department (FSD), Buildings Department (BD), Lands Department and related departments have been striving to collaborate and take enforcement actions under current legislation against the irregularities identified in Target mini-storage premises (MSP)(2) in the territory, requiring MSP operators and owners to abate potential safety hazards as quickly as possible. At present, when FSD identifies new MSPs coming into operation, joint enforcement action with BD and other related departments will be arranged according to the established mechanism.
If irregularities on the fire safety construction (e.g. provision of means of escape, fire-resisting construction, means of access for firefighting and rescue) are identified in target MSPs, BD will issue statutory orders under the Buildings Ordinance (Cap. 123) to owners of target MSPs requiring them to carry out rectification works. BD will also register these orders at the Land Registry, imposing an encumbrance on the register. Members of the public may learn about such irregularities through searching the registers.
To enhance transparency of enforcement actions, BD has also compiled a "List of Target MSP without Obvious Irregularities".
List of Target MSP without Obvious Irregularities
(users shall agree and accept the terms of the Disclaimers in the List and relevant legal notices and statements set out in 《Important notices》at BD's website. The List will be updated on the 1st Wednesday of each month)
Note (2): MSPs may operate in various modes. MSP containing cluster(s) of lockers/storage cubicles allowing direct access for the public to store and retrieve articles is target MSP. For more details, please refer to the Fire Services Department website.