David Artigliere, a Collegeville Pennsylvania Home Inspector, reminds us of what we should look at after an earthquake. This is useful information that we should keep as a checklist.
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Check your Home after Earthquake (Phoenixville, PA)
I was at home near Phoenixville working in my office when I felt my first earthquake! News reports are still coming in, but apparently the epicenter of the earthquake is in Virginia and has been felt up and down the East Coast. News reporters are saying the magnitude of this earthquake is 5.8 which is very unusual and large for this part of the country.
Some of you might wonder what to do after an earthquake when it comes to your home. Here are a few initial things you want to do after you make sure everyone in your household is safe:
• Inspect gas lines
Check for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve if you can and call the gas company from a neighbor's home. If you turn off the gas yourself, it should be turned back on by a professional.
• Look for electrical system damage
If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell hot insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker.
• Clean up
Make sure to clean up spilled medicines, bleaches, gasoline or other flammable liquids immediately. Again, leave your home if you smell gas or fumes from other chemicals.
• Inspect your chimney
Look at the entire length of chimneys for damage. Unnoticed damage could lead to a fire. If you aren't sure, get a licensed chimney sweep company out prior to using the chimney.
• Check for sewage and water lines damage
If you suspect sewage lines are damaged, call a plumber and avoid using the toilets. If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid using water from your tap. Drink bottled water or melt ice cubes in the meantime.
• Open cabinets cautiously
I'm not sure how much shaking you experienced, but I have heard this tips from friends on the West Coast. Beware of objects that can fall off shelves.
David Artigliere with ARTI Home Inspections LLC is a Home Inspector in Phoenixville, Norristown, Reading, Philadelphia, Pottstown & Surrounding Eastern PA.
He is available for Home Inspections 7 days a week and can be reached at (610) 220-1907.