Sunday, September 30, 2012

Anchoring and Securing Heavy Items In Your Home

These are some of the items you will use to anchor and secure bookcases, appliances, and heavy mirrors in your home.
Many objects can be secured exactly as they are in this rendering


     There are two reasons we need to secure heavy items in your home with anchoring or with a cable of some type.  The first is to prevent injuries of your family members during earthquakes, tornadoes, or during the simple exploration and climbing of a toddler of school aged child.  The best reason of all to have a flat screened TV anchored to the wall with a kit which allows this, and adjustment of the set, is not just to have more space in the room itself, although you will.  Having the television anchored prevents its falling and injuring a young child. It, to some degree, prevents an intruder in your home from grabbing it and taking it, without doing an awful lot of work which takes time, first.
                   Some US States with serious earthquakes actually require the anchoring of large appliances prior to issuing a Certificate of Occupancy for new homes.



Install angle brackets or pronged zee clips.

Supplies Required

Larger imageWall Anchorage
Source: Noson, Perbix, SSD
  • Angle bracket—4" x 2" x 1/8"
  • Lag bolts—3/8" diameter x 4" (for wood)
  • Expansion bolts—1/2" diameter x 4" (for concrete)
  • Metal screws—No. 14
  • Pronged zee clip


Angle Bracket Installation
  1. Secure the angle bracket to a wood wall with a lag bolt for wood.
  2. OR
    Secure to a concrete wall with an expansion bolt for concrete.
  3. Use a metal screw to attach bracket to the refrigerator.
Larger imageFloor Anchorage
Source: Noson, Perbix, SSD
Pronged Zee Clip Installation
  1. Align the angle of the clip with the leg of the refrigerator.
  • Place refrigerators and vending machines away from exits and hallways if possible.
  • Enclose refrigerators in a confined space (if possible) to prevent the machine(s) from tipping over.
When anchoring to post-tensioned slab, locate and avoid reinforcing.

 This information:

Source: School Facilities Manual Nonstructural Protection Guide 
The way that we have secured items in our home is by attaching flexible metal cable to our appliances. Then we have anchored these to hardware on the wall or anchored them to a stud within the wall.  We like this method because it permits us to unhook and clean the appliance in the back or to do repairs and maintenance when needed. 
This information is from Quakecare at:
Please contact them at   for any unusual questions or supplies for securing objects.
The information within the two sets of undulating lines is exclusively their own work product

How To Secure Household Items and Heavy Furniture

WINDOW AND MIRROR GLASS: Sharp shards may fall or be thrown across a room. Consider safety glass, wire glass or solar/safety film. The solar/safety film has the advantage of improving the insulating factor of the window. The energy saving may pay for the cost of the film. There are cost free protective measures that you can use if the glass where you are is not the safety type. You can pull down and close shutters or draw drapes. Even blinds that are pulled down, but not closed, offer some additional protection from flying glass.
HEAVY FURNITURE: Furniture will move and fall during many types of disasters, especially tall, top-heavy items. Secure the furniture to the wall. Use braided metal cable, chain, or angle brackets to secure all furniture to a wall anchor. Most often, a wall anchor is an appropriately sized eye screw. Be sure you screw wall anchors into a stud (A stud is the vertical 2" x 4" wood post that supports your wall; they are normally spaced at 16" intervals.) Use of an inexpensive electronic stud finder makes the job much easier with less damage to your walls. Screws should always be used, never nails.
GAS APPLIANCES: Your stove, water heater, furnace, clothes dryer, etc. may run on natural gas or propane. Unsecured gas appliances may crush someone or rupture their gas feed line during a quake. If these objects move or topple, the resulting gas leak may destroy your home, a home that would otherwise have survived with only minor damage. Secure all gas appliances to a wall stud, and use flexible gas line. The flexible gas line should be longer than necessary to allow for some movement. The appliance should be secured top and bottom to prevent tipping, rolling and sliding. Use heavy plumber's tape or braided cable to secure your water heater to the studs in the wall.
REFRIGERATORS: Refrigerators are extremely heavy, and most of them are on wheels. Because of their weight they may crush someone if they move and tip. Secure refrigerators, top and bottom, to ensure they remain in place and upright during any earth movement. Use plumber's tape (perforated metal strapping). Screw one end into a wall stud and fasten the other securely to a structural component of the refrigerator. Do not secure the tape to the coils in the rear of the box. These are made of lightweight material and will not support the weight of the unit.
HANGING PICTURES, MIRRORS, CLOCKS, ETC.: Anything simply hanging on a wall will come flying off in a large shake. Use an appropriately sized eyebolt and a hollow wall anchor for lighter items. Larger items will require an eye screw that is screwed into a wall stud.
DECORATIVE ITEMS: Unsecured objects will fall during a shock. Run a wire, monofilament fishing line, or guardrail across the shelf front. (The line/rail should be placed 1/3 the height of the shelf, from the bottom.) Objects can be secured in place with Velcro, two-sided tape, or porcelain glue. Place large or heavy objects on the bottom shelf. Heavy items can be secured with industrial strength Velcro.
CUPBOARD ITEMS: Cupboards will open and spill their contents during a quake. Put heavy items on bottom shelves and use positive latches to prevent doors from opening.
FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS: Spilled flammable liquids may cause fire and destroy a home that would have survived undamaged. Store all flammable liquids outside, in their original/proper containers, away from structures and vehicles. If you must store flammable liquids in your home, store them in the garage, keep them in a locking cabinet with locking doors, and always store them on the lowest shelf. See "Hazardous Materials" section.
BEDS LOCATED NEAR WINDOWS: All beds need to be "safe areas," where you can ride out an earthquake without injury. Falling window glass is a serious hazard. If a bed must be located under a window, have safety film installed.To assist those who live in California with their safety window filming needs we advise that they install safety film, which will hold broken glass together so it will not rain down on your bed when shattered by a major earthquake.


    Next:  Securing a Safe in Your Home

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