earthquake Earthquake

An earthquake puts your home’s structure to the test—it must absorb the earthquake’s energy and provide a stable path to transfer these forces back into the ground. Your home is more likely to pass this test when it is properly tied together—when the roof is attached tightly to the walls, the walls are fastened to each other, and when the walls are braced and anchored to a strong foundation.

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Earthquakes also can occur in areas not previously considered to be in seismically active areas, as seen with the rare quake in Mineral Springs, Virginia, in August 2011. Recognizing this risk, it makes sense for businesses in many areas of the country to invest in affordable, effective earthquake protections throughout the year.

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In the event of an earthquake, secured gas lines are likely to become dislodged, leaving natural gas exposed and possibly resulting in a fire. When it comes to fire safety and earthquake preparedness, having a shut-off valve installed on your natural gas line or propane gas can help prevent fires and should not be overlooked when it comes to earthquake safety. Keep reading for more earthquake safety tips.

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Hot water heaters with earthquake straps are less likely to tip over and cause water damage and fire. Water heater bracing should follow seismic bracing requirements to ensure safety. In many areas of the country where earthquakes are common, local building codes may require water heater installations be laterally braced with earthquake straps to resist seismic forces. Most hardware stores sell water heater straps and retrofit kits for different-sized hot water tanks.

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A commercial sprinkler system could be rendered inoperable during an earthquake if it is not fitted with seismic bracing. If your sprinkler system installation is not equipped with seismic restraints, you can have a professional perform a seismic retrofit. For commercial properties, earthquake preparedness should include earthquake strapping and bracing systems to protect fire protection systems from being damaged by earthquakes.

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