The only difference between adventure and disaster is preparedness.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Home Hazard Hunt

To prevent injuries, take the time to secure your space.  Secure items that might fall, fly or slide in an earthquake (see www.earthquakecountry.org/step1).  Imagine if the room was picked up and shaken up and down and side to side and then determine what items would be thrown around.  Periodically review the locations where you spend time--your home, workplace, or school--to look for potential hazards and secure them.

1.  Cabinet doors can fly open allowing contents to crash to the floor; secure them with latches.

2.  Objects such as framed photos, books, lamps, and other items you keep on shelves and tables can become flying hazards.  Secure them with hooks, adhesives, or earthquake putty to keep them in place.  Move heavy or breakable items to lower shelves.

3.  Mirrors, picture frames and other hanging items should be secured to the wall with closed hooks or earthquake putty.  Do not hang heavy objects over beds, sofas or any place you may be seated.

4.  Electronics such as computers, televisions and microwave ovens are heavy and expensive to replace.  Secure them with flexible nylon straps.

5.  Bookcases, filing cabinets, china cabinets and other tall furniture should be anchored to wall studs or masonry (not drywall).  Use flexible straps that allow them to sway without falling to the floor.

6.  Secure your water heater, refrigerator and other major appliances with the appropriate straps screwed into the wall studs or masonry to help keep them from falling over and rupturing gas or electric connections.  Gas appliances should have flexible connectors to absorb the shaking while reducing the risk of fire.

These adhesives, straps, hooks, latches and putties are available at most hardware and home improvement stores as well as online retailers. 

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