What to do to prevent a fire and what to do if a fire breaks out.
Seven Rules to Prevent Fires and Protect Your Life and Property
Three Everyday Habits
- Never smoke in bed before sleeping.
- Do not place flammable items near electric heaters, kerosene heaters, or kotatsu tables.
- When cooking, never step away from the open flame.
Four Safety Measures
- Install fire alarms to ensure you can escape before it’s too late.
- Use fire resistant bedding, clothing, and curtains to prevent fires. （防火品, boukahin, fire resistant items）
- Install a fire extinguisher in your home to put out fires while they are still small.
- Form a cooperative relationship with your neighbors in order to save the elderly and people with disabilities from a fire.
*Special note about kerosene heaters
We use heaters to warm up our homes in the winter, but these portable heaters have a higher risk of fire. If you choose a kerosene heater, learn how to safely replace the oil and clean the appliance periodically. Do not let dust accumulate in the fans or exhaust. Store kerosene oil tanks in a dry place out of direct sunlight.
During a Fire
- If a fire breaks out, shout “Kaji da! （FIRE!）” as loud as you can to alert people nearby. Never try to extinguish a fire by yourself. Call 119 to alert the fire station.
- A fire extinguisher is invaluable for putting out small fires. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, try to use a large blanket or wet sheet to cover the fire and starve it of oxygen.
- For grease fires caused by tempura oil or other cooking oils: Never use water to put out a grease fire as it may cause the oil to violently explode.
- For electrical fires: Remove the plug from the electrical outlet, and make sure the electricity is off before extinguishing an electrical fire, as there is a risk of electrocution.
- If you are not confident in putting out the fire, escape immediately.
- It is possible to extinguish a small fire as long as it has not reached the ceiling. If a fire has reached the ceiling, escape as soon as possible.
- Try not to inhale smoke from the fire. Cover your mouth with a wet handkerchief or other cloth and stay low to the ground when evacuating.
- Close doors and windows on your way out of the room with the fire to slow its growth.
Using a fire extinguisher （消火器, shoukaki）
- Pull the safety pin out of the handle.
- Aim the black nozzle at the source of the fire.
- Squeeze the handle to spray.
Fire extinguishers usually have a sign on or near them with directions in English and Japanese.
After a Fire
If your building or property has been damaged by the fire, you will need a fire damage certificate （罹災証明書, risai shoumeisho） in order to file claims with fire insurance and receive tax reductions. A certificate is issued by the fire department staff that confirms and surveys the scene of the disaster so please inquire with them for details.
Office of International Affairs, Department of Homeland Promotion
(020-8570) 10-1 Uchimaru, Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture, JAPAN
Phone number:019-629-5765 Facsimile:019-629-5254
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