Company head Bruce Schoonmaker explains how to secure furniture, lab equipment, and other valuables in preparation for an earthquake.
About Securing Possessions & Worksafe Products
Even if a home is structurally sound, it can still be filled with hazards during an earthquake if its interior has not been secured. A home’s furnishings are often the greatest risks of injury in an earthquake: bookshelves can topple, artwork can come crashing to the floor, water heaters can be yanked from the wall, dishes and glasses can come clattering out of cupboards.
Fortunately, the injuries and damage that can result from falling, breaking, and shattering household items can be prevented by bolting, strapping, and otherwise stabilizing fragile or easily jostled items. Worksafe Technologies, based in California, produces an extensive selection of products to ensure that items stay in place during even the most intensive shaking. Worksafe’s products are rigorously tested, consistently outperform comparable products, and are widely used by businesses and corporations around the world.
A-FFIX uses Worksafe straps and mats to secure everything from water-heaters and washing machines to paintings and toaster ovens. We have secured many homes in the Puget Sound area and are experienced and thorough in identifying and mitigating hazards inside homes or offices.
Call A-FFIX LLC to schedule a survey of potential dangers within your home. To get a better idea of possible in-home safety hazards online, take a virtual home walkthrough at our sister site, EQHomesafety.com.
Worksafe products are also available directly through the online store at EQHomesafety.com. Browse the products to learn more about how to secure the interior of your home or office.
Why Should I Secure My Home?
Take a quick look around your house and try to imagine the effect that strong shaking will have on your furniture and possessions. Bookshelves, lamps, hanging light fixtures, framed art mounted on walls, valuables on display, expensive electronic equipment, computers, and stereos that are perched on tables or cabinets can all be jolted out of position and destroyed, with consequences beyond just the cost of repair. Falling objects that are sharp or bulky present a serious risk of injury. Here are some other points you should consider:
In the chaos following a major earthquake, it may be difficult to replace common household items such as light bulbs, lamps, plates and glasses. Grocery and supply stores will likely be in as much disarray as your home, without even considering the rush to buy easily damaged items and the potential difficulties in keeping stores stocked.
Some valuables—keepsakes, heirlooms, childhood artwork—simply aren’t replaceable.
Computer files may be lost forever if computers and external hard drives are damaged. Their loss could be dire for anyone who keeps records, writes, or maintains personal documents electronically.
Your water heater is especially vulnerable during an earthquake. It is often inadequately braced and may be yanked out of the wall by intense shaking. It may take weeks of cold baths and showers for the heater to be repaired or replaced. The water that the heater contains may also be crucial source of drinking water if pipes are damaged by an earthquake. More importantly, the heater weighs hundreds of pounds and can itself be extremely dangerous during the quake if it is not properly attached to the wall.
How Does A-FFIX Secure Possessions and Furniture?
We begin the securing process by inspecting the interior for potential dangers. Following a thorough inspection, we go through the list of potential hazards with you and recommend straps, belts or mats to secure the vulnerable items. This is actually something you can do yourself: our sister site, EQHomesafety.com hosts a home hazard hunt that will outline typical problem areas and recommend products to stabilize them. Damage mitigation products such as straps and fasteners can also be purchased directly from Worksafe’s online store.
Once you have approved the straps, mats, and fasteners to be purchased, we place the order and will install the products for you if you choose. From undertaking the entire project yourself to having us do walkthrough, ordering, and installation, we are happy to consult, supervise, and offer as much assistance as you need at any point in the process.