Natural gas leaks and explosions are responsible for a significant number of fires following disasters. It is vital that all household members know how to shut off natural gas.
Because there are different gas shut-off procedures for different gas meter configurations, it is important to contact your local gas company for any guidance on preparations and response regarding gas appliances and gas service to your home
When you learn the proper shut-off procedures for your meter, share the information with everyone in your household. Be sure not to actually turn off the gas when practicing the proper gas shut-off procedures.
During earthquakes, propane tanks can break free of their supporting legs. When a tank falls, there is always a danger of a fire or an explosion. Even when a tank remains on its legs, its supply line can be ruptured. Escaping gas can then cause a fire. Similar problems can occur with smaller, compressed gas cylinders, which are often stored inside a house or garage.
One way to prevent damage to propane tanks and compressed gas cylinders is to anchor and brace them securely. For information on securing propane tanks and gas cylinders click here.
Water quickly becomes a precious resource following many disasters. It is vital that all household members learn how to shut off the water at the main house valve.
The effects of gravity may drain the water in your hot water heater and toilet unless you trap it in your house by shutting off the main house valve. (This is not the street valve in the cement box at the curb - the street valve is extremely difficult to turn and requires a special tool.)
Some common places to look for your master shut off valve are:
If you don’t find a hand-operated master shut off valve, have one installed on the house
side of the meter; it will make it easier to shut off your water in an emergency.
A disaster can disrupt your electrical service or cause
wires and electrical fixtures to separate, creating a shock and fire hazard.
Electrical sparks have the potential of igniting natural gas if it is leaking. It is wise to teach all responsible household members where and how to shut off the electricity.
Before a disaster occurs:
When you lose power, check the fuses and/or circuit breakers to be sure the trouble is not in
your household electric system.
If you see sparks or broken/frayed wires, or if you
smell hot insulation, shut off your electricity