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Before the shaking starts, there are some steps you can take that will help make your home safer in the event of an earthquake.

If you live in a home built before 1940, the structure may not be able to withstand the force of an earthquake. Some of these buildings are not bolted to the foundation. Consider having the structure inspected. If you use gas utilities, consider installing an automatic gas shutoff valve. Water heaters can be strapped in place at the top and bottom of the tank. Chimneys can be secured by strapping them to the roof of the house.

Large pieces of furniture should be bolted to studs in the wall. This includes free standing cabinets and bookcases. Your local hardware store should have the appropriate strapping and hardware necessary. This is also an appropriate safety measure for homes with small children. In the event that a large furniture piece is climbed, these straps can keep them from falling onto and crushing a little one. Some manufacturers include these straps with the furniture.

Install child safety latches to keep your cabinet doors and drawers from flying open in the event of a tremor. Computers, monitors and other electronics should be secured into place with Velcro straps.

Bookshelves should be moved away from beds so that objects cannot fall on sleeping persons. For breakables on display, use museum wax to fix them securely to a shelf. This is used by museums to secure breakables. Adding a lip to the edge of shelving can keep books & other items from sliding off and causing injury during smaller tremors.

This article should be used as a guideline. The reader assumes all liability when utilizing these measures.


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