Q. Does the new Don Quijote store on Kaheka Street meet fire and safety codes? The poster- and vine-laden ceilings conceal sprinkler heads in some areas. Utter clutter in the central part of the store creates narrow, zigzag pathways, and only one three-door public entrance and exit makes me wonder if the store is up to code.
A. Don Quijote trimmed back the vine-laden greenery at Kaheka after the Fire Department inspected the store on Oct. 12 after receiving several complaints like yours. Fire Capt. Rick Muramoto said a notice of violation was issued and the store was given two weeks to comply.
No one from Don Quijote management responded to requests to comment. But Muramoto said the store managers were very good about complying. "They have addressed most of it, and they are taking care of the rest. We normally work with whoever we cite as long as they look like they're working to comply," he said.
Whenever you have a sprinkler system, everything must be at least 18 inches below the system, he said. Muramoto said the store also was reminded to repair all exit signs. The store purchased new signs that are visible within 100 feet.
Muramoto said the store last week was in the process of documenting that the fire hose system has been flow-tested. Fire inspectors also pointed out that storage is not allowed in the exit path and ordered removal of propane cylinders near the exit.
Muramoto said the aisles meet the code requirements, and there are five exits for the Don Quijote store. He said the exits are located at each corner of the store plus the main entrance. However, the store was told to provide additional exit signs so people will be directed to the nearest exit door.
If an individual or business does not respond to fire safety correspondence, the department sends a final-notice letter, and if there is still no response, then the case may be referred to the city prosecutor's office, Muramoto said.
If members of the public have any concerns, questions or wish to formally file a complaint, they can call the Fire Prevention Bureau at 723-7161 or 723-7162.