By law, all applicable buildings (those above a certain size and being used for certain purposes) must have their equipment inspected by a certified inspector every year, and the property owner or manager must report the results to the appropriate local authorities.
Though it depends on the prefecture, buildings used by large amounts of people such as theaters, hotels, storefronts, offices, and condominiums generally require this inspection.
To ensure the safety, cleanliness, and chiefly the disaster readiness of all applicable buildings, the condition of all building facilities and equipment must be measured and inspected. Routine maintenance is used to prevent damage to property and occupants in the event of an emergency, such as a fire or earthquake.
There is a fine of up to ¥1,000,000 for those who neglect to report the results of their safety inspections. Furthermore, in the event of any disaster-related casualty at a building that has neglected to report its safety inspection results, those responsible may risk imprisonment for up to five years, as well as compensation for the damages caused.
It is not enough to just ensure the building is built safe, or to check once when the building is constructed. Proper maintenance is essential to ensuring the continued safety of the building.
Furthermore, if by any chance the building’s safety equipment does not work properly during a disaster, the damage can spread unmitigated, and it may be impossible to evacuate quickly enough to prevent a severe threat to human life.
If proper inspection and maintenance is carried out, the emergency equipment can respond to emergencies appropriately.
For example, a smoke ventilation system can vent smoke outside, or an emergency lighting system can illuminate the way out when an Earthquake causes a blackout. With this, people can evacuate safely.
Thus, regular inspection of a building is a necessary part of stopping incidents before they happen and allowing occupants of the building to use it comfortably.
1 Water Supply and Drainage Equipment
2 Ventilation Systems
3 Emergency Lighting
4 Smoke Ventilation System