1. Crime Prevention

Crimes that tend to occur frequently in multi-household complexes include burglaries while the occupants are out, and sexual assault. You should be especially careful of the following points:


Lock up securely, and make use of the peephole and door chain.


Make a habit of keeping closely in touch with your neighbors. Let them know when you are going to be away, etc.


At night, women and children should avoid using the elevators alone.


Be particularly alert if you see a stranger on the premises.


2. Fires

(1)Daily precautions

To prevent fires, observe the following:

Do not smoke in bed.

Extinguish all flames before leaving the kitchen.

Be careful when heating an empty bathtub.

Do not place any combustibles near the gas stove.


The hatch and dividing partitions on the balcony serve as an emergency evacuation exit. Never leave objects close to a hatch or partition.


Make sure you know in advance where the fire extinguishers and water buckets are located. It is also advisable to equip your own unit with a fire extinguisher, etc.


To prevent fires, the use of curtains with the boen (flame-retardant) label is recommended. In high-rise buildings, above a height of 31 meters(that is, from about the 11th floor up)be sure to use only curtains that have the flame-retardant label.


(2) Fire extinguishing procedures

Small fires can be extinguished by covering them with a wet towel, or covering them with a Futon or blanket and then pouring water on top.


Follow these instructions to properly fire a fire extinguisher. (Aiming the spray at the source of the fire is more effective than trying to spread the burst over the general area of flames.)
1. Pull the stopper off
2. Direct the nozzle at the fire
3. Squeeze the lever


If a fire breaks out nearby, close your doors and windows to keep out the smoke and flames. Dial 119 immediately.


Because smoke (caused by fires) rises, assume a crawling position, putting a wet towel or handkerchief to your mouth, to escape. Breathe through the wet towel or handkerchief to avoid inhaling the smoke.


If you are responsible a fire, you may also be responsible for restoration costs, or compensation for damages. It is likely that you will be asked to move out of your apartment, as well. If you have Tenant Insurance, you may be able to use it to cover the claims against you. For more details see 「Insurance」at the end of this manual.

3. Earthquakes

If an earthquake occurs, do not rush to the corridor or the stairs. Rushing out in a panic is dangerous. Remain calm, and turn off all gas lines immediately. If a fire breaks out, extinguish it.

Turn off the gas stove at the source. Turn off all oil-heaters, electric fittings, etc....


When seeking shelter, avoid brick walls and narrow alleys. Use futons or other padded materials to protect your head and body.


(1) Emergency supplies

Keep an emergency supply of drinking water, food, medicine, disaster-prevention articles, etc. on hand.

Drinking water・・・At least 3L a day per person is needed. Prepare for 3

Food・・・Rice as a staple, canned food and ration pouches as extras

Fuel・・・desktop gas stoves, spare gas cylinders , solid fuels, etc...

Light・・・flashlight, spare batteries.

Tools・・・saw, crowbar, rope, carpenter's kit, etc...

Others・・・blanket, work gloves, a cart(to carry baggage), bicycle, dry shampoo, etc...


(2) A List of goods to take when travelling during an emergency

Prepare a backpack filled with the following items:

Food・・・Water, hardtack, ration pouches, cans and a knife

First-aid kit・・・medicine, bandages, etc

Valuables・・・cash, signet, bankbook, ID (passport, Foreign Resident
Registration Card)

Clothing・・・underwear, sleeping bag, rainwear, towel

Commodities・・・radio, flashlight, spare batteries, work gloves, rope, matches or lighters, body warmers, thermal mask, sanitary napkins, disposable diapers, tissues, wet tissues, plastic wrap, stationery, trash bags

Other・・・shoes with thick soles, slippers, whistle, false teeth


(3) To prevent furniture from falling during an earthquake

Most injuries that occur during earthquakes are caused by furniture and appliances falling over. Even if the structure of a building itself is ok, many people are often crushed under heavy appliances and furniture, like refrigerators, bookshelves, cabinets, etc. It is important to make sure such items in your apartment are as secure as possible.


Although fixing furniture to the wall with screws is common, you may be prohibited by your lease contract to make screw-holes in your walls. Following are some tips to secure furniture in place while avoiding damage to both the furniture and the walls.


You can buy props at furnishing shops, volume sale's shops, and discount stores. Fix them to both the ceiling and furniture. Be especially careful about refrigerators, because they are movable with casters. Another way is to stuff a box in the gap between the ceiling and the furniture item. Boxes are often better than props because a box has a wider area to distribute force. Choose a strong cardboard box.


Lay a board under the front of furniture. It will transfer the center of gravity towards the back and lessen the risk of furniture 's falling forward.


3.To prevent shelves from flying out
There are times during earthquakes when shelves can fly out of furniture. It is not only dangerous, but can also cause the furniture to fall forward because the center of gravity transfers forward. Therefore, fix the doors of furniture containing shelves with a stopper.


4.Reinforcement of other appliances
It is very dangerous if lights, wall clocks, picture frames, etc fall down. Reinforce them with chains or metal fittings, and be careful about where you hang them (over your bed, for instance, can be dangerous).


4. Leaks

If water leakes through to the unit below your apartment, it will be your responsibility to pay compensation for any damage incurred, not only to the landlord, but also to the tenants who are affected.

Concrete is quite permeable to water. Even a small amount of water can seep through the ceiling or drip down to units below. The bathroom floor is the only floor in an apartment that is completely waterproof. Do not pour water on any other floors to wash them; this applies not only to the living areas but also to the entrance hall, balcony, corridor, etc.


5. Fall prevention

A table or other object placed near a railing may be a hidden danger, enabling a child to climb over the railing and fall. If you have small children or pets, it is important not to place furniture near railings or balconies.


6. House insurance

House insurance refers to: 「home fire insurance」「general housing insurance」 and 「tenant insurance」.


Usually, you will be required to purchase insurance when you finalize your lease contract. The following is a description of the various types of insurance you may be asked to purchase.


Home fire insurance・・・This covers any damage to the building caused by fire.


General housing insurance・・・This covers damage to household effects caused by fire, lightning, explosion, leak, robbery, etc...


Tenant insurance・・・This covers damage caused by negligence on the part of the tenant (ex-fires caused by cigarettes, candles, water damage from a leaking washing machine, etc...) If the general housing insurance you have doesn't cover damage cased by the tenant, you may wish to add tenant insurance to your contract.


Regardless of the type of insurance you purchase, make sure that you are clear on what the insurance is for, and who will pay for it.


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