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March 9, 2017

Implementing initiatives to expand the use of seismic circuit breakers

Sumitomo Corporation jointly developed the Pioma seismic circuit breaker with Ubukata Industries, and is currently endeavoring to bring the product into widespread use. The Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake and the Great East Japan Earthquake triggered extensive fire disasters, with around 60% of their identified causes reported to be associated with electrical appliances. Seismic circuit breakers are designed to automatically shut off residual current when they detect earthquake tremors of intensity 5 upper and above, thereby helping to reduce the risk of fire. The Cabinet Office is taking the initiative to promote awareness and seek widespread use of this product. The Pioma seismic circuit breaker features high quality, accurate detection, and easy installation by users, and gives people time to evacuate by shutting off the electricity supply three minutes after detecting a tremor.

In an effort to enhance recognition and gain widespread use of seismic breakers, Sumitomo Corporation and Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture, are jointly implementing a model project, under which seismic breakers are distributed free-of-charge to around 200 households in the city. A user survey will also be conducted to investigate how easy it was for users to install the device and how well seismic breakers are recognized. On January 20, 2017, Yoshiyuki Sakamoto, General Manager, Basic Chemicals & Electronics Division, Sumitomo Corporation visited Mr. Norihiko Fukuda, Mayor of Kawasaki City, to elaborate on the mechanism and features of seismic breakers. The mayor commented, "Kawasaki City is focusing on disaster prevention this year, so there couldn’t have been better timing for this model project. I have high hopes that the project will raise public awareness of the necessity to reduce disaster risk and help expand the use of seismic breakers."

Along with Kawasaki City, Sumitomo Corporation is undertaking a similar model project with Kawaguchi City, Saitama Prefecture. We will make further efforts to seek widespread use of seismic breakers and expand our business in the field of disaster prevention and reduction, thereby helping to ensure that daily life for people in Japan is safe and secure.

Yoshiyuki Sakamoto, General Manager of Basic Chemicals & Electronics Division (left), meeting with Mayor Fukuda

Seismic circuit breaker installed. The device on the left detects a quake, and the one on the right shuts off the breaker three minutes later

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