Would you use an earthquake-proof bed that drops into a metal chamber and seals you inside it?

Originally published at: Would you use an earthquake-proof bed that drops into a metal chamber and seals you inside it? | Boing Boing

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Mainly because I value my hands and feet.


oh hell no GIF


Ah, Dahir Insaat: solutions that don’t work to problems that nobody has.


Seems like anyone who could afford one of these could also afford to live in a well-designed structure that’s unlikely to collapse on them in a quake in the first place. The animation seems to indicate that this is designed to protect you if the building totally pancakes, which doesn’t really happen if the place was built to reasonably up-to-date building codes in seismically active areas, plus I question whether it would really be up to the task of protecting you in such a catastrophic failure.

My wife is a geophysicist who specializes in earthquake aftershock sequences. We bought an old house with a stone foundation, and since we’re in California the first thing we did was have the foundation retrofitted to withstand significant quakes. Not that a single story wooden structure would be likely to totally collapse on us or anything, but she said she wouldn’t be able to withstand the professional embarrassment if our house slipped off of its foundation when part of her job includes raising awareness about earthquake hazards.


“When the ground’s a shak’n we’re still bak’n”

If you don’t have this sign in the yard, you should!

My mind immediately went to the beds in “The Venture Bros.”


Claustrophobia shouldn’t enter into this. Very few people “like” being in confined spaces, let alone being trapped in them. But it’s safe to assume that far fewer people would enjoy being crushed to death by rubble.

And while I agree that if you’re paranoid and wealthy enough to buy one of these, you should probably live in a building with modern structural reinforcements designed to help prevent an earthquake-caused collapse. But as we’ve seen with the Millennium Tower, spending a pile of money on fancy new construction doesn’t mean you know for certain that your building is actually safe.

So yeah, if you have both the cash and the paranoia, why not buy an earthquake shelter bed?

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You seem to have a high degree of confidence that this thing would only activate during shaking that’s severe enough to bring down the building on top of you. But that’s a very difficult thing to fine-tune, especially since it would need to activate before the building starts collapsing.

Trust me, I personally know the folks who put together the ShakeAlert® earthquake early warning system in California and it’s difficult enough to strike the right balance on even alerting people that a strong quake might be coming without creating a bunch of nuisance warnings. Now just imagine if every time you sent out one of those alerts a bunch of folks got trapped in metal coffins. I can definitely imagine scenarios where a mild quake or even a bad sensor triggers one of these and then the person gets trapped inside without anyone knowing to even look for them because their building is undamaged.


Locked in with the monster under the bed.


While a false alarm would be unpleasant, they’re obviously not “sealed requiring rescue.” During installation the homeowner would be briefed on pushing the various “let me out” levers, and might even go through a trial run ( depending on their health and other factors.)

Surely you don’t believe they’re selling escape-proof sarcophagi?

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I don’t think they’re actually selling anything at all. The only thing that exists at this point are poorly-thought-out conceptual videos of designs that have many obvious flaws. Good luck trying to reach some hypothetical release mechanism when you’re wrapped up in that folding mattress like a burrito, and that’s assuming that you haven’t had any major appendages sheared off.

It doesn’t even show how you would be able to access any of the emergency supplies stored under the bed when you’re on top of the mattress.

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Seems shortsighted to limit this to earthquakes. The applications and endless!


Have all the nopes been used up yet? Because I feel like I have a limitless supply to use on this one.

Nopes autocorrect of course.


Any of these mechanisms are ripe for triggering by malicious actors intent on delaying or even injuring the bed’s occupant/occupants. I could imagine a couple sleeping on their own outer sections of the mattress being thrown at the other party when the mattress folds and plummets down a few feet.

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I’d be okay with the small space but I would not be okay if something failed or there was so much rubble that I couldn’t get out.

The other problem is how would rescuers even know you were in there?

Once you’re sealed inside, how do you actually access the supplies and provisions? It doesn’t seem as though there would be enough room to flip over the mattress, especially while you’re on it. Also, these look remarkably similar to burial vaults.

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Inside is like a tardis though, so you drop into a much larger space.


Put me in the “prefer to be crushed by cascading rubble” category, thanks,

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If I had one as a kid, I’d have figured out how to trigger it so I could skip school.