How to Turn Off the Natural Gas to your Home After an Earthquake
KNOW THE LOCATION OF YOUR GAS SHUT-OFF VALVES
Knowing the location of your gas shut off valve is a critical safety measure, especially if your house is supplied with natural gas. In this article, we will guide you through the process of finding and identifying your gas valves, and share important safety tips that could potentially save your life.
It is not always safe to turn off the gas valve during an emergency. If you suspect a gas leak, leave the house immediately and call the gas company or fire department. If the leak has been happening for a short time, turn off the valve before exiting the house.
Gas Valve Location
The location of gas valves varies depending on the age of your house, local codes, and your geographical location. They are usually not in obvious places, so it's essential to know where they are located.
Street Side Valve
The main shut off valve is typically located just before the gas meter and is referred to as the "street side valve."
House Side Valve
The "house side valve" is located on the inside of your house, where the pipe enters. It is a ball valve attached to a black iron pipe, and you may also see a gray galvanized pipe nearby, which is your water pipe.
If your house has a newer high-pressure gas system, you will see a flexible copper pipe running from the meter to your utility room. In this case, the main shut off valve is usually located near the water heater or furnace.
TURNING OFF THE NATURAL GAS TO YOUR HOME
If you experience an earthquake, it is important to take steps to ensure the safety of your home and family. One of the things you can do is turn off the gas to your home to prevent the risk of gas leaks and fires. Here's how you can turn off the gas:
1. Locate the gas meter: The gas meter is usually located near the street and outside the home, near the main gas line. It is typically a metal box with a valve that controls the flow of gas into your home.
2. Locate the shutoff valve: The shutoff valve is usually a metal lever or knob attached to the gas meter. It controls the flow of gas into your home and can be used to turn off the gas.
3. Turn off the gas: To turn off the gas, turn the valve a quarter turn so that it is perpendicular to the pipe. This will stop the flow of gas into your home.
4. Check for leaks: After turning off the gas, you should check for any gas leaks. You can do this by smelling for gas (natural gas has a strong, sulfur-like odor) or by using a gas leak detector.
It's important to remember to turn off the gas only if you suspect a gas leak or other damage to your gas lines. If you're unsure about how to turn off the gas or if you suspect a gas leak, it's best to evacuate the building and call the gas company for assistance.
Note: If you live in a rental property, it is recommended to inform your landlord or property manager of the earthquake and any damages. They will be responsible for turning off the gas and ensuring the safety of the building and tenants.