Natural Gas Safety in the Home
The Problem. Natural gas appliances and pipes in homes can be damaged resulting in Gas Leaks, that may lead to fires if a ignition source are present. Natural gas is typically a factor in about one in four fires following a earthquake, the amount of destruction can vary depending upon a number of factors. Structural weaknesses or the absence of appliance anchors and flexible pipe connections lead to greater possibility of gas leaks.
How to identify the problem. Inspect and examine all appliances including water heater, dryers, stoves furnaces to see if they are anchored to the floor or wall and have a flexible pipe connection.
What can be done. Relying on a manual gas shutoff valves is a effective means to stop the flow of gas if a person is present after a earthquake. If you smell gas, hear gas escaping or suspect a broken gas pipe, appliance, vent or flue, use a wrench to turn off the gas valve that’s located at the gas meter, Methane detectors and a hybrid system can further reduce the risk of gas leaks and possible ignitions. Remember once the gas has been shutoff, service can only be restored by a qualified plumber / regional utility personnel. Following a earthquake may lead to delays in restoring service safely.
Typical Manual Shutoff Valve Location.