Japan Fire Inspections
After a number of fires at restaurants and small zakkyo (雑居) buildings, the fire inspectors have been out performing spot checks at various buildings around town. I saw a large group of them patrolling through Center-gai in Shibuya making sure that buildings did not have fire exits blocked and presumably checking water hoses etc were working.
There are a number of different categories of building in Japan relating to the fire code. Buildings with floor space under a certain size, for example, do not have to install overhead water sprinklers. They may install full kitchens, many operating with gas, and in confined spaces when fire gets out of hand, this can lead to frightening results.
I am sure these fire checks go on all the time, but it is strange to see so many of them just after a few high publicity fire cases. The recent one in Koenji in particular seems to have created a need to show that precautions are being taken.
Do you have good fire prevention systems in your house? What about restaurants and stores you visit?