Earthquake-proof beds called ‘coffin beds’ by critics

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SAN DIEGO -- If the idea of an earthquake keep you up at night, maybe you'd like to sink into an earthquake-proof bed.

These hi-tech beds are built not only to withstand a quake but also to protect you during one. Animations created by a Russian company show the beds opening automatically when a quake is sensed and dumping the sleeper into a sturdy steel box below the bed. The box is designed to survive the forces of a building collapsing on top of it.

The chamber below the bed also contains supplies, including food, water, a first aid kit and a fire extinguisher.

But not everyone thinks the beds are a good idea. Some critics call them coffin beds. As one critic joked on social media, "Quake provides free burial."

But an expert on earthquake preparedness says he is keeping an open mind.

"Clearly, if you're able to be in a steel enclosure with supplies, that's not a bad thing. But it looks very expensive," the expert said.

Some wondered, if shaking triggers the bed, would you have to worry about the second most common thing people do in bed?

Engineers simulated a building collapse by dropping 3 tons of concrete on a Chinese-made earthquake-proof bed. It remained intact.

Other critics of the concept suggested that the steel enclosure could become an oven if the earthquake caused a fire. "Shake and bake," one critic quipped.

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