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Homes in Earthquake Zones

Steps to Take to Protect Your Home in the Event of an Earthquake

Earthquakes occur with very little, if any, warning. Damages and injuries from an event can be serious. If you live in an area prone to earthquakes, there are some easy steps you can take to minimize damage.

Anchoring kits

Heavy-duty anchoring kits are available in a variety of styles. Large pictures and mirrors should be securely attached to a wall stud. Bookcases and tall entertainment centers need to be anchored. Brace or add additional chains to overhead light fixtures. While movement will still occur, these items are less likely to fall.

Straps are available for refrigerators and water heaters. Refrigerators may tip and trap someone during an earthquake. Adding door straps to your refrigerator will prevent the contents from spilling. Strapping gas appliances will reduce the chance of movement breaking the gas line.

Locking mechanisms are available for kitchen cabinets. Even child safety latches are an improvement over doors that can swing open during an earthquake. While locks may not prevent breakage of glassware, they will stop broken glass from spilling on the floor. Adding locks to lower cabinets, or areas where chemicals are stored, will reduce the chance of a dangerous spill.

Special tape and wax products can hold decorative items in place. However, these products may not hold securely during a major earthquake. Truly valuable and fragile items require additional protective steps.

Personal safety

During an earthquake, drop and cover is the safest thing to remember. If you can find shelter under a heavy table, it may protect you. Stay away from windows and heavy wall art. Keep a sturdy pair of shoes available to protect your feet from broken glass.

Take the time now to inspect your home to see where dangers may exist. The majority of safety products are inexpensive and easy to install. By looking at what you need and what is available, you may find additional ideas that meet your requirements.

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