EARTHQUAKE SHUT-OFF VALVES
Southern California is earthquake country. If this area is your home, you need to be prepared since it is not a matter of if, but when there will be another quake. One danger that too many people overlook is the risk of natural gas leaks and fires during an earthquake.
There are many appliances in your home that use natural gas, including the water heater, the furnace, and the range, though you may also have space heaters and dryers that also run on natural gas.
When an earthquake happens, the lines connecting these appliances to your gas line may break, releasing natural gas into the air. While natural gas isn’t toxic and therefore isn’t harmful in itself, it’s highly flammable.
The smallest spark can set it off, which may result in an explosion. The constant flow of the gas leak will ensure that the fire will keep burning and most likely set fire to other objects in your home.
You can also minimize risks by taking care of your gas appliances.
- Make sure your water heater is secured by bolting it down or strapping it to the wall or ceiling. If you need help, contact a professional at Power Pro.
- You can make your other appliances safer by making sure that flammable liquids like cleaning products aren’t stored near them.
- Your appliances will be even safer if you have flexible gas connections, which will bend instead of breaking during an earthquake. Again, this is something that our experts at Power Pro are capable of installing.
- Call a plumber to install gas shut-off valves on each appliance so you can turn off the gas supply to that appliance if you suspect a problem.
You can minimize your home’s risks by learning in advance how to turn off your main gas line during an emergency. You should be able to find the shut-off valve on your home’s gas meter. That way, you’ll be prepared if you suspect a leak. Just be warned; you need a professional to turn the valve back on again, so don’t turn it off if you’re not sure there’s a problem.
Avoid these potential issues by having a professional LA plumber install an earthquake shut-off valve on your gas line, which will automatically turn off the gas supply to your entire house if there’s a quake.
Checking for Gas Line Issues After an Earthquake
If an earthquake happens and you’re safe, make your first priority checking your home’s gas appliances.
Can you see any damage? If so, turn off the gas to that appliance if you have individual gas shut-off valves.
You may need to turn off your home’s entire gas supply if you think there’s a problem. For example, while natural gas is odorless, most gas utility companies mix it with an odor (usually the smell of rotten eggs) so that homeowners can smell leaks. If you think you smell a natural gas leak, turn off your home’s supply and get out of the house as quickly as possible. You may also hear a hissing sound caused by the leak.
You should also turn off your gas supply, if possible, if your home has structural damage or if there’s a fire. However, if you can’t safely get to the gas meter to shut off the gas, don’t go. Instead, call your utility company immediately, as well as emergency services if there’s a fire.