Secure Heavy Objects | Earthquake Retrofit | Shelter-in-Home
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Many appliances using natural gas are connected with flexible tubing or pipes made of a relatively soft material. It is important to secure these appliances, or at least restrain their maximum motion so that the gas connections don’t break. This applies to free standing natural gas stoves, gas fireplace inserts both decorative and functional, and water heaters. This can be done with sturdy cables attached to strong locations on the appliance and the nearest wall. Restraining clips, 24-gauge metal straps, and even strong rope can be used. Other large appliances need to be secured. Wood stoves and pellet stoves should be secured to a substantial member of the flooring system.

Bookcases need to be secured as well as the shelves’ contents. Small decorative items should be secured with Velcro or a putty known as “earthquake wax.” Picture frames and mirrors, especially large heavy ones, should be anchored securely to studs (2” x 4” posts) in the wall.

Older kitchen cabinets, and even many modern ones, may be structurally unsound in an earthquake. You may need to add additional blocking above, below, or to the interior of the cabinet. Child-proof locks are useful to retain the contents of cabinets.

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