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Easy Ways to Earthquake-Proof Your Home
If an earthquake hits when you or your family are at home, staying indoors is one of the safest ways to avoid injuries. However, you still need to take extra precautions to ensure your home is safe and reduce the chance of accidents or damage to your belongings. Not sure how to make your home earthquake-safe? Here are some easy earthquake safety tips to help you prepare should the “Big One” strike.
- Keep your earthquake kit stocked – In the event you or a family member is injured, or the power is out for an extended period of time, and earthquake kit stocked with first aid items and non-perishable food is ideal to have on hand.
- Check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors – If an earthquake causes damage to any electrical systems, your home could be at risk for a fire. If you live in a two-story home, be sure to keep a fire escape ladder in second-story bedrooms.
- Install child-proof locks on cabinets – It might seem silly to add these child safety items to tall cabinets that are out of reach for kids. However, they also keep your cabinet doors from swinging open, preventing your dishes, food and other stored items from falling onto the floor.
- Protect items on shelves – Rubber shelf liners will help keep glassware and other breakable household items from sliding and falling. In addition, secure vases, knick-knacks and any other items displayed on shelves or tables using strong adhesive putty.
- Secure wall hangings – Avoid hanging heavy mirrors and frames above your bed, where they can fall during a quake. You can also use picture hooks that are made to keep wall frames hanging firmly and securely. In addition, secure wall hangings with adhesive putty to keep frames from swinging during an earthquake.
- Secure all furniture and appliances – Tall shelves, televisions and top-heavy items pose a risk during earthquakes if they can easily topple over. Use strong brackets to secure furniture to the walls, and use heavy-duty Velcro® or other appliance fasteners to keep TVs, microwaves and larger electronics secured. For bookshelves, consider stringing curtain wires or nylon cords in front of books on shelves to prevent items from falling.
- Secure Water Tanks – To prevent your hot water heater or tank from getting damaged during a quake, be sure to secure them to wooden blocks using a metal strap.
In addition, know where your gas valves and electrical supply are located – you may need to shut them off during an earthquake.