E-bike stores inspected after deadly fire concern

Naked wires were one of the most common problems found, and if the issues aren't remedied within five days, authorities will shut off power to the stores in question.

In the wake of a fire on August 2 in an e-bike store in northern Shanghai where five sleeping people were killed, police and fire authorities around the city have inspected similar venues in a bid to remove fire hazards.

On Friday afternoon, police officers and fire authorities officials inspected two e-bike stores on Guangfu Road W.

Naked wires and a lack of emergency signs and lighting were found to be common problems.

Chen Liuyi, an engineer of the department of supervision on fire prevention at Putuo District Public Security Bureau’s fire brigade, said the wiring problems need to be remedied within five days or authorities will cut off electricity at the store.

Gao Qi, a police officer in charge of fire safety at Dongxin Road Police Station, said a primary goal of the inspections is to warn people not to reside or cook with gas in e-bike stores.

“If fire breaks out at night in a small e-bike store like this, people sleeping there could be choked to death within three minutes,” Gao said.

The store owners were asked to sign a letter of commitment in which they pledged not to live inside stores, not to illegally modify e-bikes or sell models that are not approved by the government, and not to charge batteries in the stores with no supervision.

In Pudong New Area, inspectors found similar problems at several e-bike stores.

At a store on Donglu Road, they also found that e-bike batteries of different brands were stacked together right next to flammable materials, which was also a safety concern.

Pudong fire authorities said that since the beginning of this month they have inspected 659 e-bike stores, rented houses or apartments and venues where people produce and sell goods and also reside.

The inspections have found 957 violations, issued fines totaling 34,500 yuan (US$5,040) and temporarily closed or put out of business seven venues.

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