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Beware of Product Accidents Involving Earthquakes

- Make preparations for earthquakes during normal times to prevent secondary disasters as well-

February 29, 2024

Joint Press Release with the Consumer Affairs Agency and the National Institute of Technology and Evaluation (NITE)

On January 1 of this year, the Noto Peninsula Earthquake occurred. It will soon be 13 years since the Great East Japan Earthquake (March 11, 2011). Previous earthquakes in Japan not only caused disasters directly but also triggered product accidents. Against this backdrop, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) hereby announces key precautions in the event of an earthquake.


In the event of an earthquake, product accidents may occur mainly during two times: immediately after the occurrence of the earthquake and when the electricity supply resumes.

In addition, products used when infrastructure is shut down due to earthquakes include portable generators that help people to use electrical products even during power outages, and portable stoves that help people to cook even when the gas supply is shut off. Despite the convenience, incorrect use of these products may cause serious accidents.

Combustible materials scatter during an earthquake and ignite when they come into contact with a nearby electric heater.

Note: None of the pictures used in this press release relate to accidents that actually occurred.

Note: The information on product accidents in this press release includes information on serious product accidents reported under the Consumer Products Safety Act (Act No. 31 of 1973) as well as information on non-serious product accidents and minor but potentially dangerous incidents (with no damage) that were collected under the Accident Information Collection System operated by the National Institute of Technology and Evaluation (NITE).

Key points to note in the event of an earthquake and during normal times

Note 1. In this press release, the term “earthquake-sensitive current breaker” includes distribution panel-types with an earthquake-sensitive function, AC-outlet types, and simple types.

Key precautions in using products during a disaster

Portable generators

Portable stoves and the gas cylinders for them

Points to note when the electricity supply resumes

Related Material

Division in Charge

Product Accident Information and Analysis Office, Product Safety Division, Industrial and Product Safety Policy Group

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