【8】 Preventing Furniture Overturning etc
   The large tremors of an earthquake can overturn furniture, and buildings with low earthquake resistance may collapse, causing great injury and loss of life. Broken glass and crockery can also cause injury.
   About 80% of deaths and injuries in the Hanshin Awaji Earthquake resulted from falling furniture or the collapse of buildings. Purely bracing furniture and strengthening homes can avoid much of the damage caused by tremors.
   Injury can also be avoided by ensuring broken glass and crockery does not fall on the ground.

1) Preventing Furniture from Overturning

What will my furniture do in an earthquake?

   During an earthquake, furniture can overturn, ‘walk’ around the room, sway, jump, fall, or slide around the floor (see picture).

State of a room after the Great Hanshin Awaji Earthquake

Things to remember

(1) Never place tall furniture on carpets or tatami (rice straw) mats
   Place tall furniture on hard floors, not soft ones. This is especially important for furniture on floors above ground level
(2) Store heavy things lower, and lighter things higher in your wardrobes
   Don’t place dangerous items such as glass/irons on top of furniture. Similarly don’t put heavy things like TVs up high.
(3) Using Furniture Fasteners
   Furniture fasteners act as cheap insurance. Be sure to choose the right fastener for the job.
   (For those who rent, please get permission from your landlord first)
(4) Rethink the Layout of your Furniture
   Don’t place furniture in bedrooms or near exits.
(5) Securing Appliances and Pianos etc
   Refer to the manual, or talk to the maker or place where you bought your appliance for information about securing your heavy furniture.
   When buying new electrical appliances like TVs or computers, it’s best to choose items that are not too heavy.
(6) Throw away or recycle things you don’t need
   Don’t let old clothes and magazines pile up around the house. A house free of clutter will make it much easier to escape in an emergency.

2) Preventing Injury from Broken Glass

  • Attach shatter-proof film to glass
    At the very least, make sure you use shatter-proof film on glass in areas that you are often barefoot. For example, your bedroom, living room, and bathroom.
  • Secure expensive items with adhesive putty
  • Ensure crockery cannot bounce out of their cupboards