HOW SAFE WILL YOUR HOME BE IN AN EARTHQUAKE?
We can’t predict earthquakes, but we can prepare for them. One of the best places to start is with your home. Whether you own your home or rent a property, find out what steps you can take to make your home safer for you and your family during an earthquake, and when young children begin pulling up and climbing.
Step 1 - Is your furniture fastened?
Falling furniture, particularly tall or heavy items (bookcases, cabinets, TVs, fridges) can be a hazard during an earthquake.
- Look around your home – what might topple or shift in an earthquake or other natural disaster?
- Secure furniture using brackets or other fasteners to the wall or floor.
Step 2 - Is your chimney at risk of falling?
Brick and concrete masonry chimneys may crack, shift or collapse in an earthquake, causing damage to people and property. They can topple or collapse through the roof, or fall outwards damaging other parts of your property.
- Do you use your fireplace? If not, could you remove the chimney and remove an earthquake hazard?
- Are there any cracks, tilts or missing bricks? Is your chimney well connected to the house?
- Is there timber and ply bracing in the ceiling to help stop falling bricks from damaging your house?
Step 3 - Are your valuables safe?
Things you can do now to make sure your valuables are less likely to be damaged or cause harm in an earthquake:
- Move heavy objects to lower cupboards.
- Use non-slip mats and quake wax to help keep ornaments and precious objects in place.
- You could add safety catches to cupboard doors and drawers. While ‘baby-proofing’, add safety catches to higher cupboards where glasses etc could fall out.
- Make sure pictures are well secured, with hook sizes sufficient to support the weight of the item and squeezed shut to keep the picture in place
We can all do something to make our homes safer, and the best time to start is now. For information, visit eqc.govt.nz/prepare.