Sometimes gas leaks are triggered by minor earthquakes that just shake things up a bit, but do not knock anything down.
The risk is a spark of some sort (even the spark from an electrical switch) can ignite the gas.
If you smell gas and need to turn off the gas, do you know how?
Behind each gas appliance (range/over, furnace, hot water heater, etc) is a gas valve that supplies that one appliance. Turn these off, but if you still smell gas, the leak is “upstream” and you’ll need to shut off gas to the entire home.
To do this, you need:
– To know where your gas meter is.
– A gas shut off wrench.
An image of a gas shut off wrench is below.
They are available at any local hardware store, and of course you can buy one online. One of the slots in the wrench fits over the valve on the gas meter which allows you to turn it. The gas valve on the meter is off when the valve “handle” (what the wrench fits over) is perpendicular to the gas pipe.
In the image above, the gas valve is within green circle #1. In this picture, the gas valve is currently open.
Within green circle #2 is NOT a valve, but a cover. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TURN IT.
There is also one very useful tip to ensure you can find your gas wrench when you need it. You buy a gas wrench, then never need it, so how do you ensure you can find it easily in the event you ever do?
The answer is to chain the gas wrench to one of the pipes on the top of the gas meter. Ensure the chain securely fastens to the wrench as well as to the pipe. Make sure every piece used (the chain and whatever method of fastening chain links together) are made of stainless steel or galvanized steel so as to avoid rust.
Then when the gas wrench falls off the meter and over time becomes buried under the dirt, you only need find the chain to find the wrench.
Hopefully you will never need the gas shutoff wrench, but when you do, it’s handy to have it right at hand.
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