The Napa-American Canyon earthquake jolted my husband and I out of bed. Literally I have never seen a house shake. Our bed felt like we were in the Exorcist movie. We are only 15 miles from the epicenter and the crack went north to Napa. My brother in law who is a retired CA Geologist plotted the earthquake on the map and said if it had gone south, it would have gone straight through my sister in laws condo in Vallejo. The news reports have mostly centered on Napa as they sustained the worse damage. However, Vallejo has had at least a $1billion dollars of damage too. Our neighbor's in Benicia have broken glasses and skewed picture frames or frames that jumped off the wall. My broker's son and husband went immediately to Napa to help the local safety departments. She said at one time her husband had to drive to Fairfield for more medical supplies. Bless all the hard volunteers and local city, county and medical employees who came out in droves to help.
As a local Benica REALTOR, it got me thinking of my clients and the odd thought popped in my head about strapped water heaters. It is one of the first items I check when looking at home to list or for my buyers. The real reason why it is important does not even surface until an earthquake happens!! I know it is law to be strapped but how often do we just think it is a pain? Our home inspectors are very attentive not only to the straps but if it is too far from a wall, there should be a block of wood to reduce that gap.
What was our water heater feeling? Feeling pretty good I must say! It is strapped correctly because it was replaced last year and the Benicia City Inspector had to sign off on it. The cost to buy a strapping kit is less than $30. What a cheap price to pay to not have 30 gallons of water spewing everywhere if your tank falls over plus any any other damage to items it hits. Strapping is cheap and can save you from un-needed cost in the case of an earthquake.
When you get home, check your water heater and make sure it is strapped correctly. One less thing you may not have to worry about if there is an earthquake!