Preparedness & Recovery

Is Your House Earthquake Safe?

Residents are encouraged to consider projects to improve building safety and sustainability at home and in the community.

by David Garrick, The San Diego Union-Tribune / May 17, 2017
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(TNS) - Making houses and other buildings safer during natural disasters and in everyday life will be the focus of a free outdoor safety fair on Wednesday in downtown San Diego.

Experts from the city of San Diego, Calif., will answer questions about fire safety, guardrails, earthquake preparedness, carbon monoxide alarms, swimming pool barriers, wildfires, landslides and water heater safety.

Information from the fair, which is being held to commemorate building safety month, can also be found at sandiego.gov/development-services/homeownr/ask.

“Building Safety Month is meant to remind the public about the critical role of our community’s largely unknown guardians of public safety — our Development Services staff — who work every day to assure that we have safe, efficient and livable buildings,” said Afsaneh Ahmadi, the city’s chief building official. “We encourage all San Diegans to come out to learn more about constructing safe, sustainable and resilient structures.”

The fair is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the city’s Civic Concourse, 202 C Street. The theme is “partners in community safety and economic growth.”

There will be exhibits, photo displays and demonstrations, including a fire truck exhibit and tours by the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. There will also be fliers and giveaways.

City officials will also be available to explain the permitting process for new structures, remodels and expansions.

Residents are also encouraged to consider projects to improve building safety and sustainability at home and in the community.

Additional topics will include building resilience, energy efficiency, water conservation, accessibility and sustainability.

Those topics have become more important since the city adopted an ambitious climate action plan in 2015.

In January, Mayor Kevin Faulconer launched a proposed “district” of commercial buildings where owners would pledge to reduce energy consumption, water use and transportation emissions.

It would be modeled after similar partnerships in 15 other cities across North America, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Toronto.

San Diego officials say they develop their building codes and regulations using a consensus process that brings together people with appropriate expertise. They say countless lives have been saved due to the implementation of city safety codes.

For building safety month in spring 2016, city officials gave a demonstration of the “Quake Cottage,” a vehicle that lets those inside experience the intensity of a large magnitude earthquake.

david.garrick@sduniontribune.com (619) 269-8906 Twitter:@UTDavidGarrick

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©2017 The San Diego Union-Tribune

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