During earthquakes, many injuries are caused by unsecured items, including artwork and tall furniture. You will ride out an earthquake much more safely if you take the steps to prevent these injuries.
Take 30 minutes to walk through your home. Identify potential hazards and correct them as soon as possible.
- Check the water heater. Is it securely fastened to the wall studs with straps or strips of plumber's tape?
- Identify top-heavy, freestanding furniture that could topple in an earthquake, such as bookcases and china cabinets.
- Identify heavy or breakable objects on high shelves or in cabinets. Move them to lower shelves or secure them in place.
- Identify electronic equipment (stereos, computers, etc.) and appliances (microwaves, toasters, etc.) that may slide out of place and secure with Velcro-type or other fastening.
- Identify and move hanging lights and plants that may swing into and break windows. Other hanging items should be secured so that they won't jump off from the hook.
- Identify and move or secure mirrors, heavily-framed pictures, and other decorator items that are placed over beds, couches, and chairs.
- Identify and secure appliances that could move enough to rupture gas or electrical lines
- Check all gas appliances, including the water heater, to make sure they are connected to the fuel source with flexible lines.
- Install latches on kitchen and bathroom cabinets that might otherwise fly open during heavy shaking.
- Identify poisons, toxics, or solvents, especially those in breakable containers, and move them from high or dangerous locations. Make sure they are not close to stored water and that they are out of the reach of children and pets.
- Inspect to make certain that your home is securely bolted to its foundation.
- Check your chimney and roof. Remove and replace loose bricks and tiles.