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Self Storage Association Asia Launches Safety-Standards Certification Program in Hong Kong

Self Storage Association Asia (SSAA), a trade association dedicated to assisting self-storage professionals that work in emerging markets along the Pacific Rim, has launched a safety-standards certification program in Hong Kong. Using the acronym SAFE, which stands for “Self Storage Assured Fit-Out Endorsement,” the program is designed to promote regulatory compliance, best practices and accountability, according to a press release.

The program follows guidelines set forth by the governmental Building Department (BD) and Fire Service Department (FSD). SSAA has appointed Knight Frank, an independent real estate consultancy, to manage the implementation and assess local storage facilities. The association will oversee the program and maintain safeselfstorage.org, an online reference for operators seeking certification as well as customers looking for certified sites, the release stated.

Gold, silver and bronze certificates will be available to applicants that pass assessment criteria. A gold certification indicates that a self-storage site is compliant with BD and FSD regulations. It’s valid for three years. Good for one year, the silver certification signifies that an operator has had formal plans approved to bring a site into compliance. Bronze is for sites under development, indicating that their safety plans have been formally approved.

“Knight Frank is proud to assist in the elevation of self-storage standards in Hong Kong. This will be an invaluable decision-making factor for institutional investors, commercial lenders, insurance companies and financiers making decisions about doing business with self-storage operators,” said Calvin Chan, director and head of building services at Knight Frank. “Consumers and businesses will be able to have peace of mind knowing that [authorized officials] have signed off on the sites represented on the SAFE website.”

“We are encouraged by this move from the self-storage association to promote good practice and compliance in the self-storage industry, which we believe will restore landlord and customer confidence in what is a much-needed sector in Hong Kong,” said Kristoffer Harvey, CEO of Goodman Asia, which offers modern warehouse space in the region. “As a major industrial and business-space provider across Hong Kong, we support the development of clear guidelines and policies in this sector.”

Self-storage operators that have registered at least one facility into the safety program include 100Storage (The Storage), Hong Kong Storage, RedBox Storage, SC Storage, StorageWorks, StoreFriendly and The Store House, according to the release. More operators and locations are expected to be certified in the next 12 to 24 months as sites pass assessment, said Andrew Work, executive director of the SSAA.

“The SAFE Self Storage Standards program will ensure enhanced levels of fire safety that support the solutions proposed by relevant Hong Kong government bodies,” said Simon Tyrrell, chairman of RedBox. “We believe the SAFE program will reinforce transparency and increase customer confidence. It will establish recognized standards of compliance that landlords, bankers, insurers and prospective investors apply to all operators. Ultimately, we aim to redefine the self-storage industry as a trusted partner of the stakeholders it serves.”

The SSAA has actively issued warnings and promoted improvements to self-storage safety since 2016, after a pair of facility fires in Hong Kong killed two firefighters and injured another. The blazes prompted investigations and new regulations from government authorities.

Launched in 2014, SSAA provides information, education and support to self-storage owners and operators as well as other industry stakeholders. Its mission is to build a platform that supports its development and establishes industry standards.

Sources:
Yahoo Finance, Self-Storage Association of Asia ("SSAA") Announces New S.A.F.E. Self Storage Standards in Hong Kong
SAFE Self Storage Standards, Website

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