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Various tools and materials needed to help make your home earthquake safe.

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.

Steps

1Walk 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.

Various tools and materials needed to help make your home earthquake safe.

2Secure 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.

Person looking behind TV attached to the wall.

3Secure 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

Person putting blue tac on the bottom of a vase.

4Secure 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.

Person putting blue tac on bottom of pot.

5Attach 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.

Open drawer with a white hook on it, that is used to prevent it from opening fully.

6Make 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.

Cups and mugs upside down in an open drawer.

7Secure 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.

Person holding metal bracket.

8Secure 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.

Hot water tank secured against wall.

9Make 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.

Silver mirror hanging on wall.

Suggested products

More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.