Cameras a quick fix to deal with objects falling from high-rises
Residents and city administrators have turned to video cameras as a quick fix to address the problem of objects falling or being thrown from high-rise buildings, reports Yangtse Evening Post.
A security installs camera in Chongqing. [File photo: IC]
Some residential areas in Nanjing have resorted to using cameras to spot objects coming from high-rise buildings. Since the cameras were installed, no instances of falling objects have been reported.
A resident named Jiang who lives in Nanjing in an area where the cameras are installed said he witnessed a narrow escape for one passerby who was nearly hit by a large bag of garbage that came from the window of a high-rise residential block. "I've never seen in happen since the video cameras were installed," he said.
The local property management center said the cameras are positioned so they can see the outside of the building, but not into the apartments themselves. Cheng Qiaozhen, the director of customer service at the property management center, said they gained the collective support of the homeowners before the cameras were installed.
According to China's Tort Liability Law, all of the residents of a high-rise building can be held accountable if an individual perpetrator cannot be identified. Some experts believe that intelligent high-definition cameras will allow authorities to identify the people responsible should an incident occur.
The issue of objects falling from high-rises has been a matter of contention in China recently after several recent incidents. The most high-profile case happened earlier this month, when a 5-year-old was killed by a piece of glass that fell from a high-rise building. The story dominated domestic headlines and discussion on social media.
There has also been public fury towards residents who throw objects such as household garbage out of their windows or off their balconies.
Some lawyers have recommended that mainland lawmakers review the current legislation in Hong Kong regarding high-rise building safety, according to the Yangtse Evening Post report.
In 2003, Hong Kong introduced legislation stipulating that residents living in public housing who throw objects from their balconies or litter out of their windows will face a fine of 1,500 Hong Kong dollars and penalty that could see them disqualified from public housing for cases of repeated bad behavior. If the incident causes an injury, they face a fine of up to 10,000 Hong Kong dollars and six months in prison. If the incident causes a death, they face being indicted.
Other suggestions include a stricter review of the design and construction of high-rise apartments, more quality checks on the manufacturers of windows and glass, and more efforts to raise awareness of the risks of dangerous behavior for residents.