Safety inspections in Shanghai after fatal e-bike fires

Shen Mengdan
City authorities order actions to prevent and resolve any problems in residential areas where increasingly e-bikes are parked and charged.
Shen Mengdan

Shanghai has launched targeted safety inspections toward e-bikes in the city's residential areas, according to a notice issued during the weekend.

The notice is in response to a fire in a residential building in Nanjing on February 23 which led to 15 deaths. The fire started on a level where e-bikes were parked, according to earlier media reports.

A similar accident happened in Beijing on February 25, when a parking shed for e-bikes caught fire after what was considered an electric battery failure.

Shanghai's inspections will be in operation until March 31, the Shanghai Property Management Affairs Center announced on February 24, while sporadic fires were still found in the city.

Safety inspections in Shanghai after fatal e-bike fires

According to the notice, property managers should carry out daily inspections by checking fire extinguishers, emergency passages, evacuation channels, safety exits, and security cameras in parking areas while prohibiting the occupation of shared aisles, stairwells, safety exits, and other public areas.

No one is allowed to live in garages and there should also be no unauthorized wires, no flammable, explosive, toxic, or hazardous goods in the garage, and no unauthorized occupation of public underground spaces. The frequency of patrol inspections should also be raised.

"Project managers of residential areas should strictly fulfill their daily self-inspection duties," said Xu Jianfu, director of the center.

As of 2022, China's e-bike ownership had reached 350 million. One in every four Chinese has an e-bike, according to the China Bicycle Association. By last year, about 12,500 residential districts had been equipped with charging facilities, according to housing authorities.

The popularity of e-bikes and frequent accidents poses new challenges to the safety of Shanghai neighborhoods.

Special Reports