During an earthquake, framed pictures and mirrors that are not securely attached to walls can easily fall. Large pictures and mirrors can cause injuries when they fall, and the broken glass that often results increases the potential for injury. Landlords, tenants, real estate owners and rental property owners can use this guide to secure their mirrors properly before an earthquake.
One way to mount framed pictures and mirrors securely is to use long-shanked, open eyehooks instead of traditional picture hangers. The eyehooks must be long enough to penetrate the wall stud as well as the drywall or plaster. Eyehooks used in this way are much less likely to pull out of the wall than picture hooks installed with nails that penetrate only the drywall or plaster. Also, an alternative to running wire across the back of the picture or mirror is to use closed eyehooks securely screwed into the back of the frame.
BENEFITS OF UTILIZING THIS MITIGATION STRATEGY
Helps to prevent injuries to occupants
Helps to prevent damage to the pictures or mirrors
Keep these points in mind when you hang framed pictures or mirrors:
- The number of eyehooks you need for a picture or mirror will depend on its size and weight. Large pictures and mirrors will be more stable when mounted on two hooks rather than one.
- Make sure that eyehooks penetrate not just the wall but the studs behind it as well. Eyehooks embedded only in drywall or plasters are likely to pull out. To be embedded deeply enough, eyehooks should be at least 1 to 2 inches long.
- Regardless of whether you use picture wire or closed eye-hooks on the back of the picture or mirror, make sure the hooks, screws, or other types of mounting hardware are securely attached to the frame.
- If possible, don’t hang large pictures or mirrors in places where they are more likely to fall on someone, such as over beds, chairs, or couches.
The cost of mounting a picture or mirror with a hook-eye will depend on its size and weight. In general, for a picture or a mirror that requires eyehooks, the cost would be approximately $5. This amount covers only the hardware you buy, not any tools you use or the value of your time. If you hire a contractor or handyman to do the work, you will have to pay for time as well as the materials.