How to protect your home from an Earthquake in California

Published by
Part of enjoying the California life involves dealing with the unpredictability of earthquakes. Unfortunately, you never know when one might strike, which is why it’s important to follow the steps outlined below to help protect your home and your family from an earthquake.

Protect your home with Seismic Retrofitting

With a better understanding of how the earth moves, construction and engineering techniques that counter seismic activity have drastically improved. These advancements have lead to stricter building codes throughout California. All of which are designed to ensure your home can better withstand an earthquake. Unfortunately, homes and other structures built before the 2000’s are more vulnerable to earthquake damage. To ensure that your home meets the new standards, you should have a professional inspect your home for it’s ability to withstand seismic activity. Learn More About Our Seismic Retrofitting Services  If your home needs reinforcing, you may need to consider some adjustments, such as:
  • (1) Adding steel plates or bolts to help anchor the walls to the foundation of your home.
  • (2) For Two story structures the connection between the first and second floor should be reinforced.
  • (3) Install metal connectors and fasteners on the beams and joists.
  • (4) Strengthen the roof to the wall top plate connection.
  • (5) Reinforce Post-to-beam connections.
  • If you on a crawl space adding sheathing to reinforce the cripple wall, or the stud wall between the first floor of your home and the foundation wall.
  • Reinforcing chimneys, concrete walls, foundations and masonry.

Protecting the Inside of your Home

Protecting your home from an earthquake in California isn’t only about securing the roof, foundation and walls. You also need to protect and secure the items inside your home.
  • Secure water heaters, large appliances, bookcases, and filing cabinets to nearby walls using safety cables. If you have appliances or large pieces of furniture on wheels, make sure to keep those wheels locked.
  • Prevent gas and water lines from being torn from their connections by installing a flexible connection pipe between the supply line and the appliance. These connections can be used for water heaters, stoves, as well as washers and dryers.
  • Help prevent injuries from broken or flying glass by adding safety film to all your windows and glass doors.
  • Add latches to cabinets and drawers to reduce the risk of items inside falling or spilling out.
  • Secure or restrain computers, other desktop or countertop appliances, and TVs with hook-and-loop materials, adhesive backed brackets, chains, or nylon cords.
  • Place heavier items on the lower shelves, or use ledge barriers to help better secure your breakables and keep them from crashing to the floor during a quake.
  • Ensure ceiling lights, fans, hanging plants and chandeliers are safely secured to permanent structures.
  • Securely mount frames, mirrors and TVs to the wall studs using long-shanked, open eye-hooks instead of traditional hooks. Eye-hooks are less likely to come undone from the wall during an earthquake.

Get Started Today