Wednesday, October 23, 2013

How To Earthquake Proof Your Home

Earthquakes are natural occurrences that not a lot of people get to experience. But for those who do experience it, it is something that they will never forget. Unfortunately, the biggest damages that earthquakes bring are to various structures and properties. 
The recent earthquake in the Philippines damaged many Philippine properties; many of which are old homes, building, decades-old churches. Whether you have experienced an earthquake or not, it is good to be prepared for one because earthquakes will always be part of the hazards of real estate in the Philippines – earthquakes can happen anytime and anywhere. Below are some useful tips to help you earthquake proof your home.
  • Use sill bolts and sill plates. If you have yet to construct your house, be prepared by using sill bolts and sill plates to secure the structure of your house. These are used to help keep your house in its foundation; sill bolts are attached to the concrete foundation every 4 feet. You may also want to use insulated concrete forms that can withstand strong winds and movements.
  • Round off window glass corners. Glass can easily break during an earthquake and you can prepare for this by making sure that the corners of your window glasses are rounded off. This will provide some gaps in the frame that will make it possible for the glass to move easily during an earthquake. Also, rounded corners are less rigid than 90-degree angles.
  • Secure small items inside your house. To prevent any damage to the items inside your house, make sure that they are securely fastened to where they are placed. Use plastic putty and nonslip mats for really small objects such as small vases, picture frames, and other table accessories. Use close hooks for hanging frames and mirrors. Tall furniture pieces need to be secured to their positions using brackets and make sure that heavy objects are stored low. You can put wires and latches on shelves, cabinets, and drawers to prevent them from getting opened and spilling out their contents.
  • Have a secure place to go to. It is important to think ahead of time where you can make yourself safe in your home if an earthquake does occur. It is best to identify an area where there are very few things that can topple down and that the structure looks solid enough. Make sure that this area is always accessible to you and your family members and that everyone is oriented on what to do during an earthquake.