Securing Your Furniture for an Earthquake
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Securing Your Furniture for an Earthquake

Securing your furniture is among the most important steps to ensuring your safety during an earthquake.  It can be simple to do if you carefully look at your surroundings to see what could fall and take steps to ensure that it does not fall.  Remember that you should secure anything heavy enough to hurt you if it falls on you.

Secure Tabletop Objects
TVs, stereos, computers, lamps and chinaware can be secured with buckles and safety straps attached to the tabletop (which allows for easy movement of the units when needed) or with hook and loop fasteners glued to both the table and the unit. Glass and pottery objects can be secured with nondrying putty or microcrystalline wax.

Secure Items in Your Kitchen
Use child-proof latches, hook and eye latches or positive catch latches, designed for boats, to secure your cabinet doors. Make sure your gas appliances have flexible connectors to reduce the risk of fire. Secure your refrigerator to prevent movement.

Protect Yourself from Broken Glass
Replace your windows with ones made from safety glass or cover them with a strong shatter-resistant film. Be sure you use safety film and not just a solar fitter.

Anchor Your Furniture
Secure the tops of all top-heavy furniture such as bookcases and file cabinets to the wall. Be sure to anchor to the stud, not just to the plasterboard. Flexible fasteners such as nylon straps allow tall objects to sway without falling over, reducing the strain on the studs.

Secure Overhead Objects
Ceiling lights and fans should be additionally supported with a cable bolted to the ceiling joist. The cable should have enough slack to allow it to sway. Framed pictures, especially glass-covered, should be hung from closed hooks so that they can't bounce off. Only soft art such as tapestries should be placed over beds and sofas.

For more information call (650) 286-3350 or e-mail fire@fostercity.org

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