Prompted by the fourth anniversary of the February 2011 Canterbury earthquake, Consumer member Trevor Agnew wrote to us.

“When the September quake hit, my two grandsons and I took refuge in the kitchen doorway. This was next to the pantry and we could hear the bottles and tins falling off the shelves. When the shaking subsided, the pantry floor was a mess of flour and soy sauce. I was surprised to see that there were also a few drops of water dripping down from the ceiling. The header tank up in the roof cavity above the pantry had slopped over and spilled some water.

Trevor Agnew's secured water tank.
Trevor Agnew's secured water tank.

“It was only much later that I remembered I had taken Consumer’s advice many years earlier and asked my plumber to fit a restraining band to the header tank in case of earthquakes. He was reluctant but fitted it. Now I realise that instead of water drops we could have had the concrete header tank tumbling down on us.

So thanks Consumer. You never know what effect your advice will have.”

When you’re “quake-proofing” your house, make sure you secure the header tank in the roof space or on the roof. These tanks can cause significant damage if they move in an earthquake. For more advice, see eqc.govt.nz.