Making your home safer will reduce damage during an earthquake and allow you to stay in your home. There are some easy ways to make your property more resilient. If you are unable to do this yourself, get someone to help you.
Use the following checklist as a starter to make your home safe:
1. Below the house
Check your foundations
Has there been any excavation around the piles?
Secure the bearers to the piles.
Replace any rotten timber.
2. Inside the house
Secure hot water cylinders, free-standing wood burners and heavy or tall furniture.
Are there any unreinforced masonry walls that need extra support?
Have any walls been removed? This can weaken the integrity of the building.
3. Ceiling to roof
Secure water header tanks.
Check heavy roofing tiles are tied in place and/or consider replacing with lighter-weight metal roofing.
Check brick chimneys are properly secured, and if not in use, consider removal. Are the rafters and struts in your roof in good condition? Does it look like any have been removed?
If you need help, get a professional builder in to check your home.
Note: If you are renting
It's in your landlord’s best interests if your home is still liveable after an earthquake, so talk with them about making your home safer - discuss the key points on the checklist above.
Earthquake Strengthen Your Home
DIY Caution: When doing your own alterations, or if you have any concerns about your property, get advice from a professional Licensed Building Practitioner – builder, architect or designer. If you have any questions about the structural integrity of your home, get a builder to check it out.
Make your home safer - EQC's information and advice:
Will your home be safe in a natural disaster? Whether you own your home, rent a property or are thinking of buying, find out what you can do to make your home safer for you and your family or flatmates.