Earthquake Preparedness: How to Secure Home Entertainment Equipment

If you are unprepared, earthquakes can damage your most expensive personal property including entertainment equipment. But there are several precautions you can take to protect these belongings.  

Step 1: Fasten Furniture that Hoses Equipment 

Any shelving or fittings that hold entertainment equipment are liable to fall and cause damage to valuable stereos, TVs and computer equipment. Therefore, it is essential to fasten down anything that holds entertainment equipment. This also applies to any furniture that is used for holding equipment. 

To begin, make sure that any shelves holding entertainment equipment are firmly bolted to either the floor or wall. Use flexible mount fasteners or braces to attach bookshelves or entertainment cabinets to walls. Attach furniture from the upper corners to wall studs using fasteners. This will support the furniture better than drywall alone and it will allow some movement from the furniture so the stud is not over-strained. 

It is also necessary to anchor any tables holding computer equipment to the floor. The flexible fasteners can be mounted to the floor as easily as they are put into walls. By anchoring a computer table, it will be less likely to fall over with a computer and its accessories. 

Step 2: Fasten Entertainment Equipment 

The next step is to fasten entertainment equipment.  TV’s, stereos, computers and other entertainment equipment are susceptible to damage during an earthquake from falling off of tables and shelves. This creates damage to both the appliance and its surroundings. Fastening entertainment equipment to tables, walls and entertainment centers is a great way to prevent them from falling over. 

To secure computers, TVs or any other electronic devices, try using furniture straps. The straps connect the appliance to whatever it is sitting on. The straps bolt onto whichever surfaces the appliance is placed and then secured directly to the appliance. The straps will not dent or scratch any surfaces they are used on. These devices also adjust and are removable in case you want to relocate a piece of equipment. 

Step 3: Use Earthquake Putty or Gel 

Another safety measure to keep appliances in place is to use earthquake gel or putty. These substances can be placed on the bottom of a computer or other electrical appliance before sitting it on a surface. Once the equipment is placed on a surface, the gel or putty secures it. The equipment will not shake free of a shelf or table during an earthquake. 

The putty and gel are inexpensive. They do not stain or hurt any surfaces and they are not permanent. If an electrical device needs to be moved, it can be gently loosened by twisting. These substances will typically work for a 10-year period before needing to be reapplied. 

Step 4: Arrange Entertainment Equipment 

Even when using earthquake gel and fasteners, it is a good idea to place heavy electronic equipment on lower shelves, tables or on the floor itself. The closer heavy equipment is to the floor, the less likely it will get damaged if it falls during an earthquake. 

Step 5: Use Surge Protectors 

During an earthquake, there can be electrical surges that are capable of damaging any electrical appliance that is plugged into an outlet. It is important to protect these devices from surges using surge protectors. 

A surge protector regulates the power that is supplied to any equipment by either blocking or shorting out in order to ground unsafe electrical voltage from harming appliances. 

Step 6: Obtain Earthquake Insurance 

In case there are damages due to an earthquake, make sure there is insurance to cover losses. General household insurance will not cover losses incurred by earthquakes. Only a separate earthquake insurance policy will protect valuables due to earthquakes.