How to Properly Earthquake-Proof Your Home

If you live in an area that is prone to earthquakes, it's essential that you earthquake proof your home so that you'll be as safe as possible in the event of an earthquake. Taking these precautions before an earthquake strikes can not only help to ensure that the items in your home remain safe and secure, but also that the building itself does not collapse or suffer damage. Both of these can also help to protect you and other people inside of the home from being hurt. Read on for a brief guide on how to properly earthquake proof your home.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Nylon strap kits for furniture
  • Studfinder
  • Angle brackets
  • Bolts
  • Pronged clips in a "Z" formation
  • Polyester window coatings
  • Anchor bolts
  • Earthquake putty

Step 1 - Secure Large Furniture Pieces

Nylon straps for furniture can be used to attach your heavy furniture items to the studs in the walls of your home. These straps typically come with installation kits that can help you to secure the furniture. Purchase as many kits as you'll need to secure any armoirs, dressers, beds, or other large furniture items to your studs. Use a studfinder to help locate the studs to aid in the process.

Step 2 - Anchor the Refrigerator and Stove

The refrigerator can be secured in place by using angle brackets and pronged clips shaped in a "Z" design. Bolt the angle brackets into the wall above and behind the refrigerator, and use additional nylon straps to help attach the fridge to the wall. Use the Z clips to attach the legs and base of the refrigerator to the floor behind and below it. A freestanding stove can be anchored in place in the same way as the refrigerator.

Step 3 - Cover Windows

One of the most dangerous parts of your home during an earthquake is the windows. Windows tend to not be very flexible, and even slight changes in the size or shape of the window frame can result in the glass shattering. It is for this reason that you should take every precaution to cover the windows with polyester window coverings or coatings. These will help to protect the inside of your home from glass pieces if the window panes end up breaking.

Step 4 - Place Breakable Items Low to the Ground

Take any breakable items in your home, such as vases, glassware, crystal, art pieces and more, and remove them from locations high up. Place them instead on the ground or on the lowest shelf of a dresser or bookcase. Use earthquake putty to help adhere these items to the floor or to the surface of a furniture piece so that they cannot move around and become damaged or broken.

Step 5 - Attach Anchor Bolts

Anchor bolts will attach your home to its foundation. Find out if you already have these for your home. If not, follow the anchor bolt instructions to help secure the building itself, or hire a contractor to come in and install the anchor bolts properly.