Leadership

Large Japanese City Has Few Fires; Citizens Active in Fire Safety Effort

Issue 5 and Volume 134.

Large Japanese City Has Few Fires; Citizens Active in Fire Safety Effort features —photos by the author. Imagine a city of almost 1.5 million residents having only 216 fires all year! Kyoto, in Japan, can boast of this enviable record for 1980 because of thorough fire prevention and suppression programs that reach almost every person. Kyoto, the ancient capital, spreads over 235 square miles in southwestern Japan and includes a large forested area in mountainous terrain. The occupied area has a very high population density, but only 16 died in fires last year. (The average U.S. city of that population could expect to have 90 fire deaths in a year, according to figures from the U.S. Eire Administration.) Injuries numbered only 32. How do they maintain such a fire-safe record? I had the opportunity to visit Kyoto where 1 was the guest of Fire Captain Takeshi Miyawaki, a 22-year veteran…

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