Bay Area Schools and Fire Stations Ill-Prepared for Large Earthquake Says Seismic Warning Systems

Scotts Valley, CA, March 11, 2009 --( Seismic Warning Systems, the leading provider of earthquake early warning systems, says that despite dire forecasts from the US Geological Survey, the San Francisco Bay Area remains ill-prepared for a large earthquake. The USGS has estimated that a quake of intensity M6.8 or greater is likely to occur on the Hayward fault in Northern California, and yet few schools or fire stations in the Bay Area have taken advantage of earthquake early warning technology that could save lives and property.

According to Gary McGavin, AIA, past Chairman of the California Seismic Safety Commission and an expert in Schools Seismic Safety, deaths and injuries are more likely from non-structural hazards such as window glass, improper storage, bookshelves and “owner-supplied equipment,” rather than actual building failure.

Further compounding the risk to the Bay Area is the vulnerability of fire station doors. According to a report produced by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute in 2006, 67% of a sample of nearly 300 Bay Area fire stations were of moderate to high risk of not functioning due to their doors jamming. Many fire stations in the Bay Area will be paralyzed when their doors jam due to the intense shaking, as happened in Northridge in 1994. But technology is now available that can greatly reduce this problem.

“Earthquake early warning technology can give vital extra seconds of warning, enough to automatically open fire station doors, or move school kids away from the windows and under desks,” said George Dickson, CEO of Seismic Warning Systems Inc. “Wherever it’s installed, our QuakeGuard™ technology will save lives and prevent injuries in the next big quake.”

QuakeGuard early warning systems are installed in fire stations throughout the Palm Springs region, fire stations in Vallejo, Albany, and Lawrence Livermore Laboratories, Milpitas Christian Schools, Baymonte Christian School Scotts Valley, El Camino Hospital, Cisco Systems, and other places in Southern California.

Designed by Seismic Warning Systems, Inc., QuakeGuard™ detects a quake’s P-wave that comes before the dangerous shaking waves arrive. If the device’s patented technology calculates from the P-wave that the quake is potentially dangerous, it immediately sounds an alarm and activates safety systems, such as opening doors or parking elevators, before the destructive shaking starts, reducing injuries, saving lives, and protecting property.

About Seismic Warning Systems, Inc.
Seismic Warning Systems has been providing systems and services for early seismic detection and automated system response to commercial, industrial and government customers for ten years. During this time many potentially dangerous quakes have been detected and acted upon, saving lives and protecting against injury, without a single false alarm. The company designs and manufactures the patented QuakeGuard™ family of seismic detection systems, which help avert human injury, mitigate earthquake damage to property and other assets, and contribute to business continuity. Seismic Warning Systems is headquartered in Scotts Valley, California.

Seismic Warning Systems
Tony Lacy-Thompson
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