NATURAL GAS SAFETY: STAY SAFE AFTER AN EARTHQUAKE Print

 

  • DO NOT turn off gas to the meter unless you smell gas, hear the sound of gas escaping or see other signs of a leak--and ONLY if it is safe to do so. If you turn off gas to the meter, leave it off. Do not turn it back on yourself. Interior gas piping and appliances must be inspected for possible damage before service can be safely restored. Call SoCalGas to turn the gas back on, to relight the pilots and service your appliances. Note that certain repairs may have to be performed by your plumber or heating contractor. However, only SoCalGas field employees are allowed to turn on the gas to the meter.
  • For safety, a shut-off valve should be installed at every gas appliance, and may be required by state and/or local codes. If a leak occurs at a specific appliance, the valve will permit you to turn off the gas at the appliance rather than shutting off all gas service at the meter. Some valves require a wrench to turn them.
  • Check your water heater and furnace vents. If the venting system becomes separated during an earthquake or other event, it could leak hazardous fumes into your home. Do not operate your appliance unless it is properly vented.  Signs of an improperly vented appliance may include moisture on the inside of windows or an unusual odor when the appliance is in operation.
  • DO NOT ignite a flame or use any electrical appliances, light switches or other devices that can cause a spark until you're sure there are no gas leaks.
  • Keep informed of the situation through local radio and television.
  • If evacuation is necessary, prepare an evacuation kit, including personal hygiene items, change of clothes, bedding and medication, if possible. Food, shelter and first aid are available at shelters.
  • If it is safe to do so, check on your neighbors, especially elderly and disabled persons.
  • Use the telephone only for family emergency needs or to report unsafe or dangerous conditions.
  • Do not use 911 unless you have a life-threatening emergency.
  • Avoid unnecessary trips. If you must travel during an emergency, dress in warm, loose layers of clothing and sturdy shoes. Advise others of your destination.
  • Use flashlights -- NOT lanterns, matches or candles -- to examine buildings, as flammable gases may be inside.
  • Follow instructions of local authorities regarding the safety of drinking water. If in doubt, boil or purify water before drinking or call public health officials.
  • Avoid "sightseeing" in disaster areas. You may hamper rescue efforts or place yourself in danger. For more info visit: http://www.socalgas.com/safety/preparation.shtml