During an earthquake, large pieces of furniture such as tall bookcases and file cabinets can fall on you or others. Toppled furniture can also block exits and prevent you from escaping. Anchoring furniture so that it remains upright not only helps prevent injuries but also helps protect both the furniture and its contents. Landlords, real estate owners, tenants and rental property owners should anchor tall bookcases and file cabinets to prevent any injuries during an earthquake.
You can anchor large pieces of furniture in several ways. A bookcase can be anchored with metal “L” brackets and screws along its top or sides (either inside or outside) or with screws through its back.
BENEFITS OF UTILIZING THIS MITIGATION STRATEGY
- Helps to prevent toppled furniture from falling on occupants Helps to prevent toppled furniture from blocking exits and preventing escape from a structure Helps to prevent damage to furniture and the contents of the book cases and cabinets
Landlords, tenants, real estate owners and rental property owners- Keep these points in mind when you anchor large pieces of furniture:
- Make sure that all anchoring screws penetrate not just the wall but the studs behind it as well. Screws embedded only in drywall or plaster will pull out. Regardless of the anchoring method you use, the screws should be long enough to extend at least 2 inches into the wall and studs.
- Before anchoring a bookcase with screws through its back, make sure the back is sturdy enough and that it is securely attached to the sides, top, and bottom. Some bookcases have backs made of very thin materials that are held in place with only small screws or staples that can easily pull out. Those bookcases should be anchored with brackets.
- If you have two or more bookcases or file cabinets that sit next to each other, consider connecting them to one another as well as to the wall. They will be even more stable if you do.