Home Safety Tips: Gas Leaks
If you ever smell gas in your house, take the following precautions:
- Get everyone outside the house immediately.
- Use a neighbor's phone to call your gas company or the fire department.
- Do not light a match and do not turn on or off any electrical switch. The danger of fire or explosion is severe. You should leave as many windows and doors open as possible to help clear the gas from the house.
Once you know everyone is safely out of the house, you can turn off the gas supply at the main gas shutoff valve (or you can wait for the utility company to arrive to do it). The valve is usually located on the gas inlet pipe next to the gas meter. To shut off the valve, use an adjustable wrench to turn the valve a quarter-turn (on either direction) so that the valve flats are in a closet position, perpendicular to the pipe.
Do not turn the gas back on until you've discovered the source of the problem and have corrected it.
In the event of a natural disaster, you may have to turn off the gas supply yourself. Make sure you and all members of your family know the location of the gas shutoff valve and how to operate it. To help your family identify the gas valve, attach a tie-on tag to the valve and label it. Leave an adjustable wrench in an accessible location so it will be close at hand in the event of an emergency.
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