New Zealand, as a country situated right by the Pacific Ring of Fire, is prone to earthquakes. The most powerful one was in 2013, when a 6.5 magnitude earthquake hit Wellington and Auckland, damaging buildings and injuring people.
When it comes to earthquakes, everyone focuses on preventing building collapse. However, HVAC systems, as well as other types of non-structural elements found in buildings, also pose a risk. They could fall or even cause fires, posing an especially big risk for people working in office buildings. In Auckland, air conditioning services must include a full maintenance check and be fully secured to prevent debris from falling and injuring people.
Securing HVAC Systems
Heating and air conditioning systems require the extensive installation of vents and pipes for the air to pass through. In the event of an earthquake, these pipes and vents could rupture and fall from the ceiling, causing injury and even death.
Since they are not part of the structure of the building, HVAC systems are more likely to become dislodged. You will need to ask for the help of a professional air conditioning servicing crew to inspect the entire system, securing them according to the building regulations set by New Zealand lawmakers. Unsecured building elements are proven to be problematic but oft overlooked.
Maintaining HVAC Systems
HVAC systems rely on electricity. When damaged, the heating or cooling unit could cause the breakout of fires. Loose wires, short-circuiting and overheating are all exacerbated by a strong shock.
Remember that along with securing the heavy pipes and vents that make up the bulk of the HVAC system, the electrical components should also be regularly inspected and maintained. This way, there is a lesser chance of fire originating from your heating systems in the event of an earthquake.
Have your HVAC systems maintained on a regular basis before disaster strikes. Like all elements of a building, it is subject to strict compliance with building standards.