Introduction: Earthquake Latches for Cabinets
A friend who lived through a major earthquake in Southern California complained that one of the worst scenarios in her home was all the stuff falling out of her kitchen cabinets - cooking oil, wine, vinegar - all mixed in with broken glass and dishware. Sure, you could jab a piece of wood through the door pulls but how ugly and inconvenient would that be? I wanted a device that could be operated with one hand and had minimal visual impact. This is what I came up with . . .
Step 1: Take Measurements
- the distance between door pulls
- the diameter of the stem of the door pull
- how much clearance you have between the door and the door pull
Step 2: Design Your Custom Safety Latch
Once I created the design I took the schematic to TAP Plastics and had them fabricated a bunch of these for my kitchen out of 1/8" clear plexi. I chose plexi so they would have a minimal presence and not be a visual distraction. Depending on the decor of your kitchen you could also use wood or colored plastic.
Step 3: Installation
To install simply unfasten the bottom screw from the back of the door and pivot out the door pull. Slip the fabricated safety latch in place and re-fasten. Voila! Now you are ready in the event of an earthquake . . . well, at least as far as the stuff in your cabinets is concerned.
Step 4: Doors With Only One Handle . . .
For doors with one door handle I installed little latches from under the cabinet.