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Tall or heavy furniture

Falling furniture, particularly tall or heavy items, can be a hazard during an earthquake. Secure your furniture and make your home safe in a natural disaster and every day. 

Fix and fasten your furniture

Check your home for furniture that is tall or heavy. There should be a way you can fix it to the wall or floor.

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A trip to the hardware store and some handiwork now may reduce damage as well as inconvenience to you and your family following a natural disaster.

Think about: 

  • whiteware and appliances
  • televisions
  • heat pumps 
  • freestanding wood burners
  • bookshelves and cabinets. 

To secure bookshelves and cabinets

You will need:

  • two brackets for each piece of furniture
  • screws to fit the brackets to the wall and to the furniture
  • a drill.

Follow these steps:

  1. Mark the wall where the top of the furniture comes to, then move the furniture from the wall. 
  2. Find the studs in the wall by tapping lightly and listening for the duller sound of the stud. 
  3. Use 63mm 12-gauge screws to screw the brackets in place before moving the furniture back. To hide the brackets as much as possible, attach them as two upside Ls, with the bracket arm facing downwards against the wall.
  4. Screw the other arm of the bracket down onto the furniture with 15-25mm 8-gauge screws.

Fix. Fasten. Don't Forget.

Watch our video to see how to secure furniture to the wall.

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Secure your valuables

There are things you can do now to make sure your valuables are less likely to be damaged in a natural disaster. 

Use non-slip mats and quake wax to help keep ornaments and precious objects in place. You could add safety catches to cupboard doors and drawers. Make sure pictures are well secured, with hook sizes sufficient to support the weight of the item and squeezed shut to keep the picture in place.

Find step-by-step instructions in our Easy Ways to Quake Safe Your Home booklet.

Some of the risks when tall furniture falls

Watch this video to see how falling furniture affected the Lee family during the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake.

Is your furniture fastened?

  • Look around your home – what might topple or shift in an earthquake or other natural disaster?
  • Secure furniture using brackets or other fasteners.
  • While you’re there, fix any ornaments and check pictures are hung securely.

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