In view of Hong Kong's crowded and densely populated environment with congested high-rise buildings, it is not suitable to install air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment using flammable refrigerants in buildings with a large number of occupants and visitors, such as industrial buildings, commercial buildings, schools, institutions and community facilities, from the perspectives of safety and risk management.
For existing equipment, it is advised to adopt the prescribed refrigerants according to the manuals provided by manufacturers instead of switching to flammable refrigerants for the avoidance of accidents.
At present, there are many types of air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment using non-flammable refrigerants available in Hong Kong market. Building owners and persons in charge of property management companies shall choose the most suitable refrigerant in view of public safety.
A joint departmental circular from the EMSD, FSD and LD was issued in 2017, which reminds the local air-conditioning and refrigeration trade members, property management companies, owners and users of the refrigeration equipment and other stakeholders to duly consider the regulation and safety regarding flammable refrigerants, and to take public safety as the primary consideration when choosing refrigeration equipment and its refrigerants.
A safety pamphlet on Information for central air-conditioning system owners – Know more about refrigerant safety was issued in December 2020, which reminds the owner to pay attention on the refrigerant safety when purchasing or replacing the old air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment.
At present, there are many types of air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment using non-flammable refrigerants available in Hong Kong market. Building owners and persons in charge of property management companies can discuss with relevant professionals in order to choose the most suitable refrigerant. Some examples of non-flammable refrigerants are listed below for reference:
Some of the standalone commercial refrigerator use liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as refrigerant, which is a highly flammable refrigerant.
For standalone commercial refrigerator using flammable refrigerant, a flame symbol shall be marked on the appliance to alert consumer and service personnel that flammable refrigerant is in use. In addition, consumer shall also pay attention to the minimum installation room area.
For the details of storage, transportation, installation, maintenance and disposal of standalone commercial refrigerator using flammable refrigerant, you can refer to the Guidance Note.