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COMMON EARTHQUAKE HAZARDS
AND HAZARD REDUCTION PROCEDURES
- Objects on high shelves, (toys, paints, potted plants)
that can fall or become projectiles.
Remove toys, paints and other objects from high open
- Fluorescent light fixtures without safety wires and
unattached light covers that may drop on people beneath
Put light guards on fluorescent lights attached to
the fixtures and make sure the fixtures are securely
fastened to the structure above.
- Pendant mounted light fixtures or chandeliers.
Attach safety cables. Ensure hanging fixtures can swing
45 degrees without hitting each other or other objects.
Secure to prevent falling when shaken.
- Free-standing cabinets, bookcases, wall shelves and their
contents that can fall on children.
- Library bookshelves without anchorage/bracing or content
Bolt bookcases and cabinets to wall studs and provide
content restraints or latches. Secure adjustable shelves
to prevent them from slipping forward. Bolt to each other
where appropriate. Cross brace in both directions.
For racks, cabinets or bookcases significantly taller
than wide, bolt to the floor.
Place lighter objects on top shelves and cabinets and
heavier ones on the bottom (anchor all).
- Hanging plants, mobiles or pendulum light fixtures that
may drop on children or swing into windows.
Keep hanging plants and other free swinging objects
far enough away from windows so they cannot swing into
them or provide restraining device (45 degrees swing
- Glass that may shatter (windows. mirrors).
Install shatter-proof glass windows or add plastic
membrane to limit movement of fragments.
Replace glass objects with non-breakable items, such
as replacing glass on a desk with a pad or Plexiglas.
- Pianos, refrigerators, ranges or other heavy objects on
Secure equipment so that it will not slide or roll
easily. Lock rollers (wheels). Restrain kitchen equipment
with built-in cabinetry, or attachments to floor or wall
- TV monitors that may fall from platforms, computers not
fastened to work stations.
Place TV monitors on table or shelf. Secure monitors
and computer hardware with hook and loop materials or
bolt to desk / tabletop.
- Cabinets without door latches or restrained shelves.
- Cabinet drawers without latches.
Put latches on cabinets (drawers and doors) and
restraints on shelving. Secure file cabinets to wall
studs and to each other.
- Shelving without a lip or restraining wire to prevent
paint or chemicals from falling.
Put lips, restraining wire or restraining bars on
open shelving to prevent objects from falling. Store
hazardous materials in unbreakable or protected
- Elevated sound systems.
Anchor speakers to structure securely.
- Suspended space heaters.
Brace securely. For gas heaters, provide flexible gas
- Large diameter pipes.
- Emergency lights.
Fasten securely to shelving, ceiling or walls.
- Communication equipment.
Secure intercom speakers to walls, ceiling or
shelves. Secure radio cabinets securely to table top with
- Objects that restrict people from moving to a safe place
(books on the floor, broken glass, tables and desks in
hallways, stored items).
Relocate objects that may restrict movement to
safety, such as desks or tables stored in hallways.
- Aquariums that are not secured to the building's
Place aquarium on floor, if possible. Restrain tank
with heavy duty angle clips bolted to the floor. If on
table, restrain tank to table (as above) and bolt table
- Wall-mounted objects, such as maps, framed pictures,
plaques, bulletin boards, projector screens, clocks, and
chalk boards that are not securely bolted may become
Bolt maps, chalkboards, projector screens, and wall
decorations to wall (anchor to structure, not finishes).
Use closed eye hooks for pictures or Velcro for light
- Suspended ceiling tiles and runners.
Secure runners to structural ceiling with heavy gage
wire attached diagonally.
- Air-conditioning registers without safety wires.
Attach register to building structure with safety
- Large air distribution ducts, especially those suspended.
Provide secure attachments to structure. Use diagonal
- Fire sprinkler risers.
Brace securely to ceiling or wall. Use diagonal
bracing to structure for large sprinkler pipes.
- Free standing, movable, partial-height partitions.
- Unbraced water heaters, furnaces, boilers, chillers,
pumps, fans, etc.
Strap water heaters to wall on both top and bottom of
heater. Ensure all other equipment is restrained or
- Ruptured gas or water lines; downed electrical lines.
Instruct staff in procedures for turning off gas,
water and electricity. Put tools in a place where they
will be accessible in emergencies.
- Gas pipes
Install flexible connector lines to water heater,
cooking stove, heater, etc.
- Compressed gas cylinders.
Secure gas cylinders on both top and bottom with
- Valuable, fragile art objects or trophies.
Protect against tipping over, breaking glass or
sliding off of shelves or pedestals.
- Floor supported free standing shop equipment.
Secure against overturning or sliding.
- Fire extinguishers.
Securely mount to walls.
- Weight room equipment and racks.
Securely anchor to floor and wall studs. Store
- Unreinforced masonry partitions.
Remove or retrofit them.
- Light weight drywall partitions floor to ceiling.
Brace or support by structure above.
- Clear panels in partitions.
Replace glass with plastic or safety glass or apply
shatter resistant film.
- Decorations, parapets or appendages on exterior of
- Statues or other free standing decorative objects.
- Tall back boards or fences.
Support by pressure treated wood posts or galvanized
metal posts anchored to ground. Reinforce or remove
fences made of unreinforced concrete block, stone or
- Large trees leaning or in poor health.
Support or remove.
- Be aware of off-campus earthquake hazards such as; nearby
water towers that could fall on the school grounds or
buildings, above ground fuel or chemical tanks that could
rupture spilling contents on the school grounds, etc.
Request the City / County to remove the earthquake
Reference Appendix 2 - School Nonstructural
Earthquake Hazard Removal Illustrations.
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School Earthquake Preparedness Guide - State of
Arkansas Office of
Emergency Services, 1993