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Sep. 01, 2016
Kawaguchi City, Saitama Prefecture
Sumitomo Corporation

Model Project for Seismic Breakers to Be Implemented in Kawaguchi City for the Prevention of Electrical Fires in the Event of Earthquake

Sumitomo Corporation (head office: Chuo-ku, Tokyo; President & CEO: Kuniharu Nakamura) and Kawaguchi City, Saitama Prefecture (central office: Kawaguchi City, Saitama Prefecture; Mayor: Nobuo Okunoki; hereinafter “Kawaguchi City”) have made an agreement to implement a model project for disaster control (hereinafter “the project”). Accordingly, within 2016, some areas in the city will be designated model areas where a total of around 280 simplified seismic breakers will be installed.
 
It is said that about 60% of the fires that happened at the time of the Great Hanshin Earthquake and the Great East Japan Earthquake were electrical fires caused by electrical appliances. A seismic breaker is a device that automatically cuts off the supply of electricity when it detects a quake that is stronger than the predefined limit, thereby preventing electrical fires. At present, the national adoption rate of seismic breakers is below 10%. However, it is predicted that strong earthquakes with seismic intensity of 6-lower or greater are very likely to happen in Japan within the coming 30 years, and the Cabinet Office is taking leadership to spread the use of seismic breakers across the country. The seismic breakers developed jointly by Sumitomo Corporation and Ubukata Industries Co., Ltd. (hereinafter “Ubukata Industries”), which is a leading manufacturer of seismic sensors for intelligent gas meters in Japan, can be installed easily by households with no electrical work. Moreover, the sensors are high-quality products that can detect seismic waves in an accurate manner and cut off the electricity supply three minutes after detection to give people time to evacuate.
 
Citizens of Kawaguchi City have been increasingly concerned about the earthquake that is anticipated to occur in the northern part of the Tokyo Bay area within the next 30 years with a probability of 70%. Accordingly, more citizens are looking to seismic breakers. In response, the model project will be implemented in the specified areas of Kawaguchi City, and the results of questionnaire surveys conducted in the areas will be analyzed for the examination of measures to efficiently spread the use of seismic breakers in a well localized manner. The municipal government is committed to enhancing cooperation with citizens through the project with a view to making the city an even safer and more comfortable place in which to live.
 
In earthquake-prone Japan, Sumitomo Corporation will contribute to preventing electrical fires by highlighting the effectiveness and fostering the use of high-quality simplified seismic breakers made by Ubukata Industries, while also implementing a range of other initiatives for disaster mitigation and control, thereby helping enhance safety and security in the country.

■Simplified seismic breakers made by Ubukata Industrie
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