Periodic Inspections and Our Disaster Control Actions

This page focuses on NICIGAS’ efforts regarding safety.

NICIGAS carries out statutory inspections and periodic inspections of customers’ gas facilities and gas appliances to ensure that they can use gas without concern.

Proper Usage of City Gas
Proper Usage of LP Gas

For LP Gas customers (utility gas supply under the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Act)


Inspection of supply facilities at the time of cylinder replacement

Checks whether gas has leaked around the cylinder at the time of cylinder replacement.

Periodic inspection of supply facilities

Takes place at least once every four years to check whether gas has leaked from the supply facilities.

Periodic inspection of consumption facilities

Takes place at least once every four years to examine gas appliances, air supply and exhaust facilities and others.

* For customers using special facilities, inspections are conducted at different frequencies.

For city gas or community gas customers

Periodic inspection of consumer appliances and inspection of leakages from private gas pipes

Takes place to examine gas appliances and air supply and exhaust facilities at least once every four years and inspect gas leaks in the home.

Inspection of gas leaks from main pipes, branch pipes and supply pipes

Takes place at least once every four years to check whether gas has leaked from gas pipes buried under roads.

* For customers using special facilities, inspections are conducted at different frequencies.

Notes on Inspection Work

  • Inspectors from the NICIGAS Safety Inspection Center visit customers to carry out an inspection.
  • Periodic inspections of supply facilities, periodic inspections of consumption facilities and inspections of leakages from private gas pipes need to be carried out in the presence of customers.
  • Customers are informed of the scheduled date of the inspection visit by the Notice of Gas Facility Inspection, as shown below. For a request to change the scheduled visit date or other inquiries, please provide your customer number printed on the Notice of Gas Facility Inspection.

Reference image of the Notice of Gas Facility Inspection



NICIGAS’ Safety Training

NICIGAS trains its staff to improve their safety skill levels.

Point 1 Periodic safety training

We have established safety regulations and safety operation regulations. In accordance with our annual plan, we periodically provide all our staff engaging in safety operations as well as partner companies associated with the gas business and their staff with safety education and drills.

Point 2 Disaster drills

For partner companies associated with the gas business and their staff, we carry out annual disaster drills that put customers’ safety first on the assumption of an earthquake with an intensity of 5-upper or higher on the JMA scale. Equipped with satellite cellphones and emergency vehicles, the disaster prevention monitoring center plays a central role in preparing and developing a system for response to emergency situations. We also take part in disaster drills organized by general gas pipeline service providers and related associations and conduct technology exchanges with other operators to build up safety skill levels and establish a safety cooperation structure beyond companies in the event of an emergency.

Point 3 Acquisition of qualifications

We hold internal study meetings to strongly help acquire qualifications for chief gas engineers, high pressure gas sales safety chiefs, LPG installation engineers, electricians, and other personnel related to safety operations, and to increase safety levels.

  • Qualification holders (as of the end of September 2018)
  • 1,021 holders (in cumulative total) of chief gas engineers’ licenses
  • 914 holders (in cumulative total) of the high-pressure gas sales safety chief certificate
  • 520 holders of the LPG installation engineers’ licenses
  • 153 holders (in cumulative total) of the high-pressure gas production safety management certificate
  • 121 holders of second-class electricians’ licenses

Point 4 Participation in workshops organized by industry organizations and gas appliance manufacturers

  • We take part in a range of workshops organized by industry associations and contribute to the development of the gas industry.
  • We take part in training sessions organized by gas appliance manufacturers in an effort to gain more knowledge and technologies on safety operations. We take active part in external training to prevent human error beyond industrial boundaries. This is helpful for safety education.

Emergency Response

STEP 1: Occurrence of disaster

The disaster prevention monitoring center monitors images of individual depots 24 hours a day. Upon the receipt of disaster information, it starts to act as the response headquarters and collects information.
As a front-line base that draws up plans for preventing secondary damage and restoration, it provides specific instructions to insiders and outsiders.
With the use of GPS features on smartphones, it grasps the whereabouts of staff members and identifies who among them is the closest to the site of a disaster.
The display monitor visualizes the state of the gas supply to individual households to identify pipes through which the gas supply is suspended. This facilitates swift recovery work.

STEP 2: Instructions to offices

Once the nearest office is contacted by the headquarters, its staff travel in an emergency vehicle to arrive promptly at the customer experiencing the problem.
NICIGAS has a large number of staff members with solid skills certified with chief gas engineers’ licenses and other specialist qualifications pertaining to the gas business.

STEP 3: Quick visit to site of disaster

After arriving at the residence of the customer experiencing the problem, the staff investigates the issue and takes prompt, careful action to fix it.

Actions for Recovery

The disaster prevention monitoring center discusses what actions should be taken based on the information collected and develops a recovery plan.
In accordance with the plan, we take different actions including the repair and replacement of pipes, gas facilities and gas appliances in the home in a bid to achieve recovery as soon as possible.

Stockpiling of Materials and Equipment

With the help of partner manufacturers, we stockpile materials and equipment that are indispensable for recovery work after a disaster. We have established a framework for preferentially procuring pressure regulators, high pressure hoses, piping materials and other materials and equipment.

Gas-powered Vehicles

Most of our vehicles are powered by gas. Even when gasoline is in tight supply in the case of a disaster, they can be supplied with gas fuel stored in auto gas filling stations at individual NICIGAS facilities. This supports our prompt actions.

Auto Gas Filling Stations

NICIGAS offices, plants and depot stations are equipped with gas filling stations called EcoSta. They supply fuel to gas-powered vehicles.

Stockpiling of Gas Cylinders

After being refilled at plants, gas cylinders are temporarily stored at depot stations before they are delivered to customers’ residences. This provides reassurance because our depot stations hold a certain quantity of cylinders in stock, even when a disaster prevents the plants from refilling cylinders with gas.

Preparation for Disaster

We are aware that we engage in the energy business that supports customers’ lives. We offer periodic safety education and introduce gas facilities with high safety levels.

Gas Alarms

Gas alarms quickly detect gas leaks and make an alarm sound to inform the people around them. We encourage customers to install them in kitchens and other indoor spaces where gas is used.

Quake-sensitive Gas Shut-off Valve

A quake sensitive gas shut-off valve is introduced to gas generating facilities. It automatically stops the gas supply in the event of a large-scale earthquake.

Polyethylene Pipes

We are introducing polyethylene pipes for underground gas pipelines. Polyethylene pipes are resistant to corrosion and are earthquake-proof.

Gas Meters

In the event of massive gas leaks or a pressure decline to below the predetermined level, the safety device in the gas meter automatically stops the gas flow.

LP Gas (propane gas)

For customers to LP gas, we apply preventive measures to every gas cylinder installed at home in order to prevent them from falling.

Safety Belts

A safety belt is attached to each cylinder to prevent it from falling. It makes a sound when it is attached or removed. In addition, it has outstanding durability.

Earthquake Shut-off Hoses

They stop the gas flow in the event of vibration. They prevent gas leaks if the cylinders fall over.