Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Is Your Home Earthquake Safe? Protect Your Home and Family With these Essential Tips.

Is Your Home Earthquake Safe? Protect Your Home and Family With these Essential Tips.Is your home earthquake safe? With citizens of Texas in a state of confusion and concern over the recent Azle and Reno quakes, we are reminded of how spontaneous a disaster can be.  As a building and design company based in Dallas, Texas, we've taken these events to heart. 
Regarding the quakes, the Dallas News shared the following:
"Oil and gas operations are the most likely cause of dozens of earthquakes that began rattling the North Texas towns of Azle and Reno in November 2013, a group of scientists has concluded.
The study, led by researchers at SMU and published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, presents some of the most conclusive evidence yet that humans are shifting faults below Dallas-Fort Worth that have not budged in hundreds of millions of years.
While experts have not yet determined what’s causing the shaking in Dallas and Irving, the new paper previews aspects of that study and includes suggestions that will help speed research." Source: dallasnews.com
We've found comfort in the idea that these quakes are not a norm for the area, but we can't be careless and assume it or something similar wouldn't happen again. So in the name of safety and preparedness, we want to share a few essential tips, with you on how to protect your home, in the case of a natural or unexpected earthquake. 
You want to make sure your home is safe to be in during the earthquake itself, while also preparing it to be resistant to damage by taking a closer look at it's structure and contents. When and how it was built and designed needs to be taken into careful consideration as well, as the home may have weak spots causing it to be more vulnerable to earthquake force. Some key places to observe for weak structure are foundations and how they are anchored to the home itself, weak walls in the crawl space or unreinforced masonry. They all seem like small details but can take a major hit if not secure or strong enough. 
So your first step, especially as a homeowner, is to find and fix these weak points properly with the help of a professional contractor.  If you are a renter, be sure to talk with the owner of your home to find out what's been done to strengthen and protect the home against earthquakes and other natural disasters. As a renter, it is your right to live in a safe home and both you and the owner should work to create an improvement plan if safety is at risk. If you are about to buy a home, be sure to have it evaluated for seismic risk along with meeting local building code standards. 
Lastly, what's on the inside of the home is as important as it's structure. In the event of an earthquake, any unsecured objects have the potential to move, break or fall, which present both safety issues and loss of property value. Be sure to do a walk through of your home and take note of large or awkwardly placed or constructed items, including those things that are tall, heavy, expensive, or appliances with special connections via outlets or hoses. Once you've taken note of these things, it's time to determine which safety items you're going to invest in, to protect your home and family. The size and location of your furniture will determine your next step, in purchasing the tools to secure your belongings, such as fasteners, straps and hooks, or whether you just need to relocate them to a saver place all together. 
We at Unique Home Building want you to be safe and secure in the home you live in. It's a standard we deliver whether remodeling, building a new home or simply providing you with these helpful tips. Please, if you're ready to bring in the professionals, we have contractors in Dallas ready to work with you. Call us today. 

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