Mexico is located in one of the most active seismic zones in the world. According to the national seismological the states of Chiapas, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Michoacán, Colima and Jalisco are considered as zones of high seismicitywhile Mexico City becomes the central receiver of these tectonic movements due to its proximity to these regions.
Derived from the geographical location, it is common for various technical movements to occur that affect the structure and installations of the buildings, for this reason it is very important to carry out a security review to determine if the property suffered any type of damage that affects the security of the properties. people.
This location has had a direct impact on the Mexican capital, especially during a cabalistic date such as September 19, since some of the strongest earthquakes took place between 2017 and 2022, which, although they were with different scenarios, They focus the population’s attention on the constructions and the security that the structure of the different properties offer in moments of earthquake and its subsequent aftershocks.
5 things you should check in your building after an earthquake
In order to ensure the stability and safety of a property in future earthquakes, regardless of their intensity or Richter scale, it is important to consider 5 basic aspects:
It is recommended to first carry out a visual inspection to detect cracks, fissures or visible damage in load-bearing walls. In buildings it is common for there to be Drywall, ceilings or plaster, many times the damage remains at these levels and not at the structural level.
The ideal is to take a tour of the building with civil protection personnel, architects or structural engineers who evaluate the stability of the property through a complete analysis.
2. Water system
The objective is to look for leaks or cracks in the cistern, pipes of the building in general and from the outlets to keys inside the office or departments, it is also important to check the installation of the water tank.
Gas leaks are a very common situation after an earthquake, it is key to remain alert and in case of detecting a leak, immediately contact the fire department and notify the building administrators so that they can completely close the faucets. step, while alerting people not to light any kind of flame.
In the case of a home, the first thing is to check that the stove and/or heater or boiler have not suffered damage to the installation or connection hoses.
4. Air conditioning
The air conditioning systems of a building can be affected by the movement and vibrations generated by an earthquake. The first thing is not to turn on the air conditioning system until you do an inspection, which consists of these basic points:
- Visual inspection HVAC system installations (air vents, pipes, supports and equipment leveling) should be visually checked by a certified technician or knowledgeable building maintenance personnel.
- Review media on installed equipment on the floor it is essential to see that it has not been damaged by the vibration caused by the earthquake. And for systems installed on the ceiling.
- When the air outlet system is installed on the ceilingwe must check that the panels and installation have not been damaged or loosened, in this way we avoid the risk of the equipment falling from the ceiling and injuring someone.
5. Detection of leaks or damage to pipes
Calm! The refrigerant gas contained in air conditioning systems is of low flammability and is not toxic, but if released improperly it can damage the ozone layer in the long term.
If you detect that the pipe is hit, check if it is leaking water or oil and inform your technician. Another suggestion in case of detecting damaged pipes is to keep the area ventilated until a technician makes the necessary evaluation and repair.
The best tip is to maintain your building periodically, in this way post-earthquake damage is much less and user safety is greater.
Jasel Adrian Rodriguez Salmeron Mechanical Engineer graduated from the Higher School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (ESIME) of the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN), specializing in the Thermodynamic area. He began his professional career in the air conditioning field at Daikin; he currently works as a Technical Support Engineer in Applied and VRV. He has participated in different projects where the selection and design of HVAC systems for hospital, hotel, residential, commercial and industrial applications is required. He has collaborated as an exhibitor in national and international conferences on topics related to HVAC systems, he has also given specific technical training on Design, Selection and Installation of systems for different clients.