Earthquakes are a natural phenomenon, and according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, they can occur anywhere in California. As a business owner who owns a commercial property, not only do you have to make sure the structure of your property is strong enough to withstand an earthquake because of the loss it can incur in your business. You also have to ensure the safety of your tenants or clients that are currently in the vicinity of your commercial property. One way you can do this is to get a soft story retrofitting and we will be discussing more on this blog post.
What is Soft Story Retrofitting?
So what is a soft story retrofitting or seismic retrofitting? Soft story buildings are those infrastructures that have a less rigid first floor than the stories it is supporting. This makes it vulnerable to damage that can render your building unsafe and condemned. By getting a soft story retrofit, you can make your building “earthquake-safe” by strengthening existing walls to make sure that when an unfortunate disaster occurs, your building will still be standing, and therefore, making your tenants and clients as safe as possible while inside your building. Unfortunately, sometimes, the owner or the manager of the building only gets a heads up that they have to spend on a retrofit the moment they get an order from the city. As a building owner, now that you’re reading this article and you now have an idea what a soft story retrofitting is, then it is best to seek a professional and have your building assessed immediately.
While soft story retrofitting is a must, there are also additional precautionary measures you can practice and urge your tenants to take part so that, together, you can help ensure all of your clients’ safety.
Once you have decided to get soft story retrofitting for your building, the safety of the people of your building should also be a group effort for your tenants and by having a plan to prepare your tenants or residents for when disaster strikes so that you can minimize the damage. One of the ways you can prepare for an earthquake is to identify a safe space for your tenants. A safe space is somewhere people can go without the risk of any falling debris, shattering windows, or collapsing walls that might be very dangerous during an earthquake. Make sure this safe space is known by your tenants.
You should also regularly practice the “duck, cover, and hold” on the identified safe space as a standard for safety. When the earthquake happens, you and your tenants should practice the duck cover and hold, protect your head and eyes until the shaking stops. Once the seismic shake stops, you should proceed to follow your building’s evacuation plan.
These are just some of the ways you can prepare for an earthquake if you live in Los Angeles, California. Getting a Los Angeles soft story retrofit can save you a lot of money because a great foundation and an undamaged building would mean you don’t have to start from scratch, which might happen if you do not ensure the capability of your property to withstand earthquakes.
As a businessman, it is your responsibility to make sure your building is as safe as it can be and that when a natural phenomenon happens, you can minimize the damage to your structure by getting a soft story retrofitting, which can also ensure your safety and also of the people inside your building. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Earthquakes cannot be predicted, so you never know the exact date and time a disaster will strike. And since California is considered an earthquake-prone state, you really have to make sure you are ready when it happens. Be prepared by consulting and hiring contractors who are professionals in soft story retrofitting. Have your property evaluated as soon as possible because the difference between a building that is earthquake-safe and something that has not been retrofitted might be life and death.
Contact us now and our trained professionals will immediately assess your property to ensure your building’s safety. From moment frame, cantilever column, and shear wall installation, to the creation of habitability plans for your tenant, we can help you make sure that your building can withstand the force of a seismic earthquake. Our services are custom-tailored to the soft story retrofitting needs of our clients to satisfy not only your needs but to comply with the city’s building code and ordinance.