With a new regulation taking effect on Saturday that bans charging e-bikes in residential buildings, the government has vowed to push forward the construction of safe e-bike charging choices for residents.
The new rule states that e-bikes should not be parked or charged in a public space within a building, including the hall on the first floor, aisles and the stairwell as well as in and around emergency passages, safety exits and passages for fire engines.
However, due to lack of parking space and charging docks in some residential complexes, especially older ones, there are still people who park their e-bikes in residential buildings and use private cables to charge their e-bikes.
E-bike fires, usually caused by electric failures, can be extremely serious if the e-bike is indoors. The main parts are mostly inflammable, and the smoke from a fire is poisonous.
Between January last year and this month, 20 people were killed in 546 e-bike fires in Shanghai, a third of all the fatalities in fires, according to the city’s fire and rescue authorities.
A citywide campaign about unsafe e-bike parking and charging launched last October has had positive results. Only 29 e-bike fires have been reported since then, with no one killed.
This year, the government is funding new e-bike charging facilities for 500 residential complexes.
Zhang Lixin, vice director of Shanghai Housing Administration Bureau, said: “The construction of fire safety facilities will be synchronized with that of e-bike charging facilities. Where there are no parking lots for e-bikes, individual charging piles or cabinets outdoors will be provided for residents.”
Zhang said the bureau will require real estate management firms to take a more active approach in dissuading residents from illegally parking and charging their e-bikes and to report those who ignore warnings.