When an earthquake strikes, even the most harmless objects can become dangerous.

During the 2010/2011 Canterbury and 2016 Kaikoura unrestrained and poorly restrained non-structural objects caused a devastating level of damage: 

These included: 

Staff and Employee Injuries

  • 60% of all earthquake-related injuries in commercial buildings during the Canterbury Earthquakes were caused by non-structural elements

Compromised Exit Routes

  • Falling ceilings and services often fell to the floor blocking exit routes, preventing staff and customers from getting out safely and emergency services entering to assist

Extensive Repair Costs

  • 70 - 80% of the total repair costs of earthquake damaged buildings was because of ceilings, partition walls, lighting, computers and specialist machinery.

Lengthy Business Interruption

  • Business interruption because of damage by non-structural elements was a larger component of the total insured loss than material damage costs according to the Insurance Council.

Higher Insurance Premiums

  • Insurance provider have become aware of the greater risks caused by non-structural element and premiums in commercial buildings and homes have started to rise. 

Source:  Opus Report for MBIE “Economic benefits of Code Compliant Non-Structural Elements in New Buildings”

Please share

Our challenge is to raise awareness of the potentially devastating risks in our homes and work, and encourage you to explore the variety of cost effective ways available to you to manage and reduce these risks.

It will:

  • save people from harm
  • protect buildings and vital equipment
  • and minimise the time it takes for you to get back to everyday life

New Zealand will become more resilient to the effects of an earthquake.

The greater we are as a nation at coping with an earthquake, the more resilient we will be and the quicker we will be able to recover.


Next steps

You can take the first steps toward identifying your risk at home and work by downloading our checklist.

Then talk to a seismic restraint installer to recommend solutions according to best practice, and in compliance with NZ Building Code.

How can we help?

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