San Diego County is blessed with less obvious earthquake activity than places like Los Angeles, but the county still has its share of very real quake risks. Because shaking can occur at any time, your home is at risk from things like water and gas lines leaks. You must take steps to secure your equipment so that you don’t lose precious water sources and fall victim to gas-line fires.
San Diego has quake faults that scientists are watching, in particular, the Rose Canyon fault that runs through La Jolla into downtown San Diego, and the San Jacinto and Elsinore faults that run through northeastern San Diego County and southwestern Riverside County respectively. However, San Diego is also subject to shaking from quakes on faults farther away, such as the San Andreas and multiple faults east of the county. For example, the 2010 Easter quake, a 7.2 wake-up call centered near Mexicali, Mexico, produced shaking all over San Diego County.
Water heaters, kitchen appliances, furnaces and air conditioner equipment have to be strapped down, with the straps attached to wall studs. If you secure your equipment properly, you reduce the chances of the items falling down and cracking during a quake. If you don’t, water heaters can fall over and spill out all the water inside. This would not only flood your home but eliminate an emergency source of clean drinking water and gas lines can rupture, increasing the risk of an explosion and fire. Keeping the items strapped in also reduces the need for maintenance and repair work once recovery efforts begin.
One additional note of concern: Many homes have had water heaters strapped in for years, but they use an old system that has been shown to be ineffective in quakes. Take some time to look over all the restraints and straps you have and verify that they meet newer standards.
If you need or want more advice on how to secure HVAC equipment and other home appliances, contact Sherlock Heating and Air Conditioning at (760) 206-4167. We’ve been helping North County residents for more than 30 years.