A Method to Prevent Movement of Picture Frames During an Earthquake

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Earthquakes are frightening natural events that can become disasters when they hit places that aren't properly prepared for the power of the Earth shifting beneath them. Among the numerous precautions you can take to protect yourself in the event of an earthquake, keeping picture frames from moving or falling off the wall is an important one, as they can fall on top of people or can fall on the floor, creating a hazard of broken glass.

Use Mirror Clips

  • Metal clips, usually used on mirrors as supports, can be used on picture frames by simply screwing them into the wall below the frame on each corner so the frame itself is supported. This will keep the picture frame from moving unless the whole wall comes down, although you've got bigger problems if the earthquake is that powerful. There is a downside to this method: The metal mirror clips will stand out, making the framed picture less appealing aesthetically.

Screw Frames Into the Wall

  • If you have a wooden picture frame, or a thick enough metal frame, picture frames can be screwed directly into the wall. With the right size and color of frame and the right colored screws, this is the perfect option. Two screws, one on each side at the same height, should be enough to secure the frame, unless it is a very large, heavier frame, in which case you'll need to use one on all four sides. However, once you screw the frame directly into the wall, you won't be able to move it easily; make sure you want it there permanently if you take this approach.

Try Toggle Bolts

  • Toggle bolts have wings attached to them and are installed through pilot hole drilled in the wall board. Once the toggle bolt is inserted into the pilot hole, the wings expand, creating a larger area where the weight of whatever is hanging on them can sit. Four of these can be used for a picture frame to hang on, one in each corner, which will keep it from moving during an earthquake. This may be one of the better options, despite being a hassle to install, as you won't be able to see how the picture is attached to the wall, thereby making it more aesthetically pleasing.

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