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Don't purchase unnecessary "earthquake safety" devices

Updated May 16, 2011

Salesmen often visit the Cerritos area peddling "earthquake protection" devices that aren't necessary or required by the City, such as gas shut-off valves and foundation anchors.

Selling for at least $200, the gas shut-off device is essentially a ball that is installed in your gas line. A minor quake, sonic boom or even a big truck driving by can knock the ball loose and shut off your gas.

You should definitely shut off your gas if you hear hissing, smell gas or see other signs of a gas leak after an earthquake. But anyone can do the job easily using an inexpensive wrench. Most home improvement stores sell earthquake preparedness wrenches, painted red, that can be hung up by your gas shut-off valve, located near your gas meter.

Remember that any time your gas is shut off, it must be turned back on by a professional from The Gas Company. For more information, call (800) 427-2200.

Foundation anchors

The salesmen also imply that Cerritos homes need expensive foundation anchors for earthquake safety.

The truth is, Cerritos homes were built at a time when foundation bolting and other earthquake safety measures were required, and builders complied with these safety requirements. For this reason, the Building and Safety Division is not aware of a single home in Cerritos that is without foundation bolts. Only vintage homes, built in the early part of the century, may need earthquake retrofitting.

For more information, call the Cerritos Building and Safety Division at (562) 916-1209.

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