How to Ensure Earthquake Safety in Your Home-Building Process

How to Ensure Earthquake Safety in Your Home-Building Process
  • Opening Intro -

    More than every other type of natural disaster, earthquakes strike without any warning.

    Therefore, to help protect yourself and your family, you must prepare for earthquakes when you have the chance so that you're ready when disaster strikes.

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An important part of this protection is building your home so that it stays strong during an earthquake. While you can still create the unique home you’ve always wanted, there are some important safety measures that you definitely need to include.

Isolate the Foundation

Since homes rest on the ground, the shaking from an earthquake is transferred directly to the structure of the home. If you’re building a new home, though, you can work to isolate your home’s foundation using shock-absorbing pads. Then, when an earthquake strikes, these pads will shake while your home remains stable.

Though this will add complexity to your construction project, you’ll be thankful you took the extra time when disaster strikes. This can make an especially big difference for those building near a fault-line or in an earthquake-prone area such as California.

Build it Strong

The most popular construction material for framing a home is dimensional lumber. While you can build a strong home out of wood, it requires a very dense framing structure to ensure that the home will be properly supported during an earthquake.

If you use high quality structural steel strategically to build your home, though, you will be able to build a home that’s strong while still being flexible enough to absorb the impact of the quakes without shattering the way that concrete and stone alone may do.

Include Multiple Cut-Offs

One of the most serious dangers resulting from an earthquake is a natural gas leak. Once the shaking has stopped, natural gas can continue to spew from cracked pipes, resulting in a fire or explosion.

To help reduce the risk posed by natural gas, it’s a good idea to have multiple cut-offs throughout your home. This will ensure you’re able to stop the supply of natural gas even if certain areas of your home are inaccessible due to earthquake damage. This is especially important if your home is particularly large or if you plan on renting part of it out to others.

survival kitpower generator

      some earthquake survival items to consider      

Reinforce Doors

When an earthquake strikes, it’s important that you’re able to escape your home should it start to collapse. To make this possible, the doors in your home need to be reinforced so that they’ll stand strong, providing a secure escape route for you and your family, as well as a potential shelter spot between rooms during the initial quakes.

It’s also a good idea to use solid-core doors so that you can block any fires in your home and give yourself more time to escape. The benefit of reinforcing your doorframes goes beyond earthquakes, as well, as it will help protect your home from the effects of a settling foundation over time.

other valuable tips:

After your home is built, most of your earthquake protection measures won’t require much thought. However, if a small earthquake occurs, it’s a good idea to have your home inspected to ensure that everything is still strong. This will provide assurance that your home will be able to withstand the forces if a larger and more destructive earthquake should strike at some point in the future.

Even if you don’t live in areas prone to frequent earthquakes, consider at least putting in basic precautions against quakes that may come in the future when building your home.

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Image credit: earthquake safety by Pixabay

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MeghanBelnap

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.