How to make your home earthquake safe

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How to make your home earthquake safe

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Project Overview

While you can’t completely protect your home from an earthquake, there are some simple things you can do around the home to give you greater peace of mind. This guide will give you some tips and tricks to help protect your home and your possessions in case of an earthquake.
Continue to step-by-step instructions

Step by Step Instructions

1 Walk around your home
2 Secure the television
3 Secure vases and other tall items
4 Secure smaller vases and bowls
5 Attach safety latches to drawers
6 Make your crockery secure
7 Secure drawers, cupboards and bookcases to the wall
8 Secure the hot water tank
9 Make photo frames and mirrors secure
  • Step 1. Walk around your home

    The first thing to do is to walk into every room in your home and look at what you can make more secure and stop from falling over in case of an earthquake. This can include TVs, bookcases, drawers and dressers, as well as vases, mirrors and artwork. Also consider items in the kitchen like the microwave oven, toaster, glasses and crockery. Write down a list of the things you can secure in each room as you go.

  • Step 2. Secure the television

    As a large item that sits on the wall or on a cabinet, it’s important to make sure the flat-screen television is secure. If the TV is sitting on a cabinet make sure it’s attached securely to it. If it’s wall-mounted, check that it’s attached to a locking mechanism.

  • Step 3. Secure vases and other tall items

    Use seismic wax to help secure vases and other tall items.  It’s stronger than Blu Tack and it dries clear, so it’s less obvious. Apply the wax in three points on the base of the vase or other tall item. Place it onto the cabinet and push it down firmly. Gently twist it to make sure the wax grips to the cabinet

  • Step 4. Secure smaller vases and bowls

    For smaller vases and bowls, Blu Tack is ideal to help stop them from moving. Place four balls of Blu Tack on the base of the vase or bowl. Place the bowl where you want it. Push down on it and gently twist it so that the Blu Tack sticks.

  • Step 5. Attach safety latches to drawers

    Often used to keep children out of cupboards and drawers, safety latches will stop drawers from opening and spilling their contents onto the kitchen floor. Place the mounting clip from the safety latch on the inside of the drawer or cupboard. Line the safety clip up with the mounting clip. Attach the safety clip to the inside of the drawer or cupboard door.  To open the drawer or cupboard, push down on the safety clip.

  • Step 6. Make your crockery secure

    Open the drawers where your crockery and glasses are stored and shake the drawer. If the crockery moves, it’s worth making them more secure. Remove the crockery and glassware. Cut non-slip matting to match the size of the drawer and lay it in there. Put the crockery and glassware back in the drawer.

  • Step 7. Secure drawers, cupboards and bookcases to the wall

    For larger pieces of furniture that are placed against walls, secure them to the wall with a bracket and screws. Use the stud finder to find a stud. Use the cordless drill to secure the bracket to the wall, where the stud is. Attach the piece of furniture to the bracket using the drill and screws.

  • Step 8. Secure the hot water tank

    To avoid water and gas leaking from the hot water tank and gas bottles it’s important to secure them to nearby walls. Cut the strip brace to size so that it fits around the water tank or gas bottle. Use the cordless drill and screws to firmly secure the brace at both sides. You might need to repeat this two or three times depending on the size of the hot water tank and your gas bottles.

  • Step 9. Make photo frames and mirrors secure

    Walk around the house to check how mirrors, photo frames and artwork are attached to the wall. If there’s only one fixing for each of them, install another, so that they’re more secure. Another tip is to close the brackets that are holding the photo frame or mirror in place. This will help to stop them from rocking out of the bracket and falling on the floor.

Tools and Materials

Materials

  • Blu Tack
  • Brackets
  • Cordless drill
  • Drill bits
  • Hammer
  • Non-slip matting
  • Pencil
  • Safety drawer latches
  • Screws
  • Seismic wax
  • Strip brace
  • Stud finder
  • Utility knife
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