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Letter: A post-quake lesson: Brick buildings should come with warnings

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Bricks that fell from the facade of Red Rooster Records in Magna after last week's earthquake, as seen on Tuesday, March 24, 2020.

The 2021 Utah legislative session will end on March 5, a little less than two weeks from the one-year anniversary of the Magna earthquake. A legislative bill has been introduced acknowledging something we all experienced — brick buildings are unnervingly fragile in earthquakes.

House Bill 214 introduced by Rep. Andrew Stoddard asks that we acknowledge this dangerous building type because for too long we have denied that it may cause harm for unsuspecting citizens. We routinely disclose a variety of dangers in real estate transactions (radon, flooding potential, presence of methamphetamines, etc.) and now with our recent experience of a moderate earthquake, unreinforced masonry buildings should be on that list of concerns.

Homeowners, lessors, and indeed renters and the public should be provided information to be allowed to make informed decisions about buildings they choose to occupy. The threat of a major earthquake is real, its impact will be big, and we need to act now.

Brent Maxfield, Jack Bloom, Grant Willis, Divya Chandrasakar, Jonathan Hermance, Barry Welliver, Citizens for Earthquake Safety

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