E.China's Jiangsu launches provincial inspection into fire hazards in residential compounds after deadly fire
Published: Feb 25, 2024 07:48 PM
A deadly fire in a residential compound in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu Porvince Photo: VCG

A deadly fire in a residential compound in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu Porvince Photo: VCG

East China's Jiangsu Province has launched a thorough inspection into fire hazards in residential compounds across the province after a deadly fire broke out in the provincial capital of Nanjing early Friday morning, killing 15 people. Preliminary analysis shows the fire was caused by electric bicycles parked inside the building.

Nanjing local authorities held an extended meeting Friday afternoon. Officials at the meeting said they will carry out comprehensive inspection into safety hazards, focusing on more than 15,000 high-rise buildings, 238 large-scale commercial and trade venues, over 121,000 small-scale operating venues in the city, as well as various mixed production and operation venues, residential areas, affordable housing areas, urban villages and other densely populated areas. 

According to a notice sent by a compound in Nanjing to the Global Times on Sunday, residents are asked to remove the debris placed in the public areas of corridors and electric power wells and illegal parking and charging of electric bikes in the building are banned. 

On Saturday morning, the building that caught fire was cordoned off and the residents were gathered together. Several residents said that it was not the first time that there was a fire in the compound due to the parking of electric vehicles on the elevated ground level of the building. In 2019, a fire broken out in the compound's residential building. This was also caused by electric bikes being charged. Luckily, the accident was reported in a timely manner, and there were no casualties. 

According to Fengmian News, a resident named Ma Lin (pseudonym) complained to the property management department seven times about the fire hazards of illegally parking and charging of electric bikes in the compound during a one-year-and-a-half period about four years ago when he lived in the compound. The property management department said they would strengthen patrol and education but claimed that they had no coercive power to stop behaviors of property owners. 

China's Ministry of Emergency Management issued the regulations on firefighting safety management of high-rise buildings in 2021, stipulating that those who park electric bicycles or charge electric bicycles in public lobbies, evacuation walkways, stairwells or safety exits of high-rise civil buildings can be fined between 500 yuan ($69.49) and 10,000 yuan if they refuse to comply with the regulations. 

Zhou Zhaocheng, a lawyer from Beijing An Jian Law Office, told the Global Times on Sunday that although governments in localities have issued clear regulations on the parking and charging of electric bicycles in residential areas, there are still people who believe that these tragic accidents won't happen to them. 

According to Zhou, the manufacturer of the battery of the electric bike, the developer and property management department of the compound and the owners and users of the electric bikes can all be held accountable for this accident.