In November of 2010 a massive fire broke out in a retired teacher’s compound in Shanghai, engulfing the building and claiming 58 lives. The fire was so swift and the building’s internal fire response so weak that the fire raged out of control for hours as helpless onlookers stood by. Now, Shanghai is fighting back!
With the horrible memory to recent in the city’s history, the Shanghai government has allocated funds to purchase a helicopter to fight fires in high rises around the city. This flying fire engine will be responsible for fires near the tops of tall buildings, where the city’s fire trucks cannot really combat fire. This is a great step forward in Shanghai’s emergency response preparedness, and the city is all the better for the impending arrival of the 100 million yuan helicopter.
The November fire was started due to poor supervision on construction being carried out in the area. Bamboo scaffolding caused the building to engulf almost like a funeral pyre. Residents are asking that new supervisory laws be in place on all construction sites in the city, a smart move indeed considering the current lack of supervision, regulations on construction safety and inner-city building. Since many buildings don’t have in-depth fire alarm and reaction systems, these regulations are of supreme importance.
Most western hotels in Shanghai have western-standard fire safety measures in place as well as an emergency evacuation plan. If your hotel is under construction, consider relocating to a completed hotel for your own safety but also for the noise and respiratory health.