After what year of build date are most homes considered safe because of code requirements for seismic activity?
Homes built prior to 1960 are probably in the most need of verification that they are anchored by bolts to the foundation walls. Starting the mid 1970’s, the State of Oregon improved the building code and inspection process by mandating a single State-wide Building Code for builders to follow, and certification (through experience and training ) of building inspectors. It was not until the late 1980’s that earthquake resistant construction became commonplace, so homes built since that time have anchorage of the building to the foundation and wall bracing as an integral part of the design, construction and inspection requirements.
Note: even though a home is built to the most current earthquake standards, there is no guarantee that in a severe earthquake the building won’t sustain damage (no building can be guaranteed earthquake-proof). The purpose of earthquake building codes is to have the building resist the earthquake movement long enough for the occupants to be able to escape to the outside. The intensity and duration of an earthquake (in any combination) have a lot to do with how much damage is experienced.

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1. Does the City have information on what other homeowners have done to make their homes safer?
2. After what year of build date are most homes considered safe because of code requirements for seismic activity?
3. I live in a three story town home. What seismic improvements might it need?
4. If my home has high beamed ceilings, what supports if any is recommended?
5. Should furnaces be attached to the walls like water heaters?
6. Our wood stove sits in the middle of the room and has at least a 10 foot section of pipe to the ceiling. What recommendations are there to better resist earthquakes?
7. How are deck supports upgraded to earthquake standards?
8. Should I worry about trees, Doug firs, near my home in an earthquake?
9. Does Beaverton offer some sort of certification on the work that will be reflected in the property record for the benefit of a future sale?