We cannot know for sure when the next big earthquake will strike, but we can prepare our homes to limit the damage to our property and ensure our own safety. Here are some good practices you should follow:
- Never hang heavy items such as pictures, paintings, or mirrors near beds, couches, tables and anywhere else people sleep or sit.
- Install strong latches or bolts on cabinets. It’s also a good idea to arrange your cabinets to have large, heavy or breakable items (bottled foods, glass, china) closest to the floor.
- Secure tall, heavy or expensive objects (bookcases, home electronics, water heaters, appliances) with flexible fasteners such as nylon straps
- Learn to shut off the gas valves in your home and have a wrench handy to do so.
- Ensure that plumbers have installed flexible connectors on all gas appliances. Ensure that water heaters and gas appliances are bolted to wall studs.
- Consult a professional to evalute your home. Make sure your home is securely anchored to its foundation and ask for tips to strengthen areas that would be weak during an earthquake such as porches, decks, sliding glass doors, canopies, garage doors, etc.
Check out the picture below for more tips: