SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — San Francisco will employ a new method of getting property owners to reinforce their buildings to better withstand earthquakes – shaming them into retrofitting their buildings.

The city plans to place large signs written in red letters on hundreds of apartment complexes that violate San Francisco’s codes regarding earthquake safety, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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The signs which are written in multiple languages also include a drawing of an earthquake damaged building and say “Earthquake warning!” in all-caps, followed by, “This building is in violation of the requirements of the San Francisco building code regarding earthquake safety.”


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“We wanted something that caught people’s attention, which I think this very well does,” San Francisco Director of Earthquake Safety Patrick Otellini told the Times.

The tactic has been used before across the bay in Berkeley, where the city placed smaller warning signs on some buildings.

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The Times reported the city of Los Angeles is also considering a similar move, using a letter-grading system for buildings.