The RM 6.8 (Nisqually) earthquake struck at 10:55 AM on February 28, 2001, and caused considerable damage to the Boeing Longacres (Renton) Administration and Training complex, resulting in partial closure for several days. In addition to loss of use and subsequent dislocation issues, Boeing suffered financial loss from structural damage, flooding from broken fire sprinkler lines and severe electrical shorting when an electrical transfer switch fell over.
The campus comprises four separate buildings, all protected by a centrally located “site-specific” ESS Model MSC-U gas shutoff system with four manual reset valves attached (2” thru 6” line size).
All valves closed instantly when shaking exceeded the 0.15 G trigger threshold, avoiding threat of fire ignition from electrical arcing when the transfer switch fell over. Boeing facilities personnel told ESS, "We were glad it worked. With all the water damage and electrical concerns, two days passed before anyone thought to check on the gas lines!'
Other ESS installations, located in the greater Seattle area where no damage was reported, did not respond. This indicates again, the critical importance of ESS “site-specific” approach to seismic hazard mitigation for industrial and commercial locations. Production processes etc. need not be shut down or taken off-line if the intensity of shaking specifically at the client's site is not sufficiently severe.