Is Your Home Earthquake Safe?

September 17, 2014

Earthquake SafeCalifornia is undoubtedly one of the most comfortable places to live in the world. The weather, the beaches, the laid back lifestyle, these type of things make California the paradise that many people enjoy. Despite all of these wonderful elements there is one major concern that all Californians must prepare for and be willing to live with: earthquakes. Many Californians live on or near the massive San Andreas Fault and this keeps our state constantly at risk of earthquakes. Earthquakes can be frightening and quite destructive, but there are some simple steps that you can take to help protect your home and family.

Prepare Your Family

The first thing you should do when preparing for earthquakes is to have a discussion with your family about your plan in the event of an earthquake. It is important to develop a procedure that your family will follow in the event of a quake. For example, a safe meeting spot in or around the house should be established so that everybody knows where to meet. Near this spot it is important that you keep an emergency first-aid kit that is easily accessible. The kit should include basic medical supplies and could also include emergency living supplies such as water, non-perishable food items, and blankets. To be extra safe it is wise to keep a flashlight near your bed so that you can safely navigate through your home if an earthquake has knocked out your power.

Home Safety Tips

There are many different steps that you can take to prepare your home for an earthquake. Preparation is key to keeping everyone safe and these steps will help ensure that you are ready for the worst.

  • Install earthquake shut-off valves. Emergency shut-off valves are valves that are specially designed to close and stop flow whenever reasonable seismic activity is detected. These valves can be installed on all water and gas lines and are extremely important in preventing further damage to your home. Many valves will also close off when there is an excessive flow as this would indicate a leak or crack in the pipe caused by an earthquake. Gas and water leaks can be extremely dangerous to you and your home so make sure that you hire qualified professionals to install your earthquake shut-off valves.
  • Inspect your plumbing lines. As stated earlier, leaks of any kind can have devastating effects on your home. Hire a plumber to come out and examine your plumbing lines replacing any rusted or loose pipes that they find. Have the plumber look for any poor connections or leaks as any of these problems can really be compounded in the event of an earthquake.
  • Secure your water heater. Water heaters are tall, unsteady, and full of water making them a likely candidate to topple over or break in the event of an earthquake. To make sure that yours is secure, first, set wood boards in between the heater and any walls that it stands next to. Then, tie plumber’s tape or another strong strap over the top and around the middle of the heater. Finally, nail down the loose ends to studs or any secure area in the surrounding floor.

Don’t Get Caught Unprepared

When living in California earthquakes are something that simply can’t be avoided. Earthquakes can be devastating to affected people and homes, but if you prepare yourself and your home properly you can greatly reduce the risk of serious damage. There are several steps to take to protect your property and the experts at LA Master Plumbers can help you with many of them. Our team has been installing earthquake safety measures for years and we want to ensure that all Californians are as well protected as they can possibly be. Call today for a free consultation.