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Locking rooftop access

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  1. #1

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    Dec 2010
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    Locking rooftop access

    I recently moved into the top floor of a tong lau, and a rooftop comes with it. There's only one flat per floor so the whole roof is not shared with any other flat. I'd like to furnish the rooftop, however I'm concerned about security as the entrance door to the building is frequently left open during the day, so any stranger can come up the stairs and onto the rooftop.

    There is a door to the rooftop on which a lock can be attached. I have been told by friends that it is apparently illegal to lock access to a rooftop as it should be accessible to anyone in the building in case of a fire. I have also been told that firemen checked the buildings regularly to ensure rooftop access were not restricted. However, I have tried to look it up online but couldn't find anything confirming this.

    So I am wondering if it is really illegal to lock the access to my rooftop. If so, is the law actually enforced? What do I risk if I lock my rooftop?

    Thanks for your replies!


  2. #2

    Join Date
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    You cant lock access to the roof, my friend lives in a tong lau also and only he can use the roof but he cant lock it. He rents the apartment, the LL has stuck signs saying only his apartment can use the roof, that all he can do.

    http://www.bd.gov.hk/english/documen...s_code2011.pdf

    As defined in the Fire Services (Fire Hazard Abatement) Regulation (Cap. 95F), “means of escape” means such means of escape as may be required for the safety of persons having regard to the use or intended use of the premises. Hence, the Fire services Department requires all building exit door(s) including any door or gate erected at the section of a common staircase between the topmost floor and the roof to be readily and conveniently openable from the staircase side without the use of a key.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Thanks for the reply and the link, it's very clear now.


  4. #4

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    http://www.legislation.gov.hk/blis_p...P_95F_e_b5.pdf
    Section: 15
    Locking of means of escape
    L.N. 113 of 2003;
    L.N. 194 of 2003
    01/01/2004
    (1) A person commits an offence if the person-
    (a) secures or causes to be secured the means of escape in respect of any premises; or
    (b) being the owner, tenant, occupier or person in char
    ge of any premises, permits or suffers to be secured
    the means of escape in respect of the premises,
    by any lock or other device which in the event of fire or other calamity-
    (c) cannot readily and conveniently be opened from wi
    thin the premises without the use of a key; or
    (d) might render escape materially more difficult.
    (2) A person who commits an offence
    under this section shall be liable-
    (a) on a first conviction, to a fine at level 6;
    (b) on a subsequent conviction, to a fine of $200000 and to imprisonment for 1 year,
    and, in any case, to a further fine of $20000 fo
    r each day during which
    the offence continues.
    (3) In any proceedings under subsection (2), a document purporting to be a certificate signed by the Director
    stating that the person named in the document was on the da
    te specified in the document convicted of an offence
    contrary to this section shall be ad
    mitted in evidence on its production.
    (4) Unless the contrary is proved, it shall be presume
    d in respect of the document admitted in evidence under
    subsection (3)-
    (a) that it is a certificate signed by the Director; and
    (b) that the person named in the document was on the
    date specified in the document convicted of an
    offence contrary to this section.

  5. #5

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    Dec 2010
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    Thank you!


  6. #6

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    You can install a camera or an alarm that warns you if somebody enters the rooftop


  7. #7

    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by evalf:
    I have been told by friends that it is apparently illegal to lock access to a rooftop as it should be accessible to anyone in the building in case of a fire.

    So I am wondering if it is really illegal to lock the access to my rooftop. If so, is the law actually enforced? What do I risk if I lock my rooftop?
    Seriously?

    You have been told that a rooftop is a fire access point and you are still considering putting a lock on it?

    The only concern you have is that you might be fined by the fire department, as opposed to creating a safety problem for everyone else who lives in the building?
    HowardCoombs, jimbo and imparanoic like this.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    I had the same issue in my last place. The roof was mine and I furnished it, but other people from the building kept leaving litter up there. I was unable to do anything about it because the doors were not allowed to be locked.


  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Well I guess I'll have to hope that my neighbours are civilised, and that no one tries to go up the building from the street then.


  10. #10

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    Aug 2009
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    On a tangential note: is there a good reason why most apartment buildings in Hong Kong have flat roofs? (in contrast to some European buildings that have a sloping tiled roof)?


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