Earthquake Preparedness: Don’t Forget About Your Water Heater!

Susan Stenrose

The term “earthquake preparedness” inspires thoughts of emergency kits, flashlights, bottled water and canned goods. Although these items are extremely necessary, it is also important to ensure that proper precautions have been taken throughout your home.

In the event of an earthquake, traditional water heaters have the potential to move or tip over. This movement may cause a water line break and subsequent flood, or a gas line break and subsequent fire.

hot water heater with earthquake strapsTo help prevent unfortunate water damage or fire following an earthquake, it is important to anchor or brace the traditional water heater to the studs in the nearby wall in accordance with the building code. Water heater earthquake strap kits may be purchased at a local hardware store for $15 to $20. Check with your local jurisdiction for specific requirements or guidelines related to installing earthquake bracing.

Tankless water heaters are already anchored securely to the wall and do not require additional bracing.

For more ways to protect your home against earthquake damage, don’t miss our series of blogs about earthquake preparedness.

Susan Stenrose is a risk consultant with Chubb Personal Risk Services’ Risk Consulting Group.

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