DO A WALK-THRU
|Identify potential hazards by using this checklist. This should only take about 30 minutes and may save you heaps of $$ and time later, not to mention lives.
The graphic to the right should help jog your memory what may need fastening in your own home.
Click for larger image
INTERIOR CHECK LIST
1. Check your water heater. Securely fasten to the wall studs with screws and plumber's tape.
2. Identify top-heavy, free standing furniture that could topple in an earthquake, such as bookcases and china cabinets. Secure to wall.
3. Identify heavy or breakable objects on high shelves or in cabinets. Securely fasten them or move them.
4. Identify electronic equipment and appliances that might slide off their cabinets. Secure with industrial strength velcro or provide a restraining edge on the cabinet or shelf.
5. Identify hanging plants, especially those in heavy baskets, and hanging lights that are near windows. Secure, move or fasten down.
6. Identify mirrors, heavily framed pictures, etc., that are placed over beds, couches, and chairs. Relocate or securely mount them.
7. Identify appliances that could move enough to rupture gas or electrical connections. Securely fasten these objects.
8. Check gas appliances and the water heater to make sure they are connected to the fuel source with flexible lines.
9. Identify latches on kitchen and bathroom cabinets that will not hold the door closed during heavy shaking. Install more secure latches or hooks.
10. Inspect the foundation of your house. If your house is not securely bolted, and shear walled, contact a resource person.
11. Check your chimney and roof for loose tiles and bricks.
12. Identify poisons, toxins, or solvents in breakable containers that are located in high or dangerous locations. Dispose of and/or rearrange."3
SUSPENDED LIGHTS AND CEILINGS
Secure ceiling lights to supports using safety cables. Attach chain, wire or perforated metal strapping (plumber's tape) like that used to secure water heaters. See diagram below. These cables should be hung loosely; they are
|Ceiling lights, suspended ceilings, chandeliers and ceiling fans can shake loose in earthquakes causing serious injury to people and furnishings below.
Many ceiling safety measures you can do yourself.
Chandeliers, ceiling fans and hanging plants should also be secured to the house's permanent structure.
| not meant to support the weight of the fixture. Attach ceiling light covers to their fixtures.
Attach safety cables every few feet to suspended or false ceilings to the permanent structure of your home. Use bolts, screws or other strong fasteners to attach safety cables to both the suspended ceiling and the permanent structure.
Adjustable compression struts can be installed to prevent ceiling panels from flying upward. The suspended ceiling manufacturer can give you details.
CUT-AWAY OF A ROOF
STABILIZE CEILINGS AND LIGHTS
© Text and Graphics, 2001 Stan and Holly Deyo, except where otherwise credited