It’s no secret that California is home to regular earthquakes. In fact, the southern California area experiences approximately 10,000 earthquakes every year. The state has over more than 500 active faults, and most state residents live within 30 miles of an active fault. Of course, only between 15 to 20 of these annual earthquakes have a magnitude greater than 4.0. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need to take the proper precautions to ensure you and your family stay safe and secure.
Many homeowners in El Monte know to earthquake-proof their furniture to prevent injuries and property damage. However, falling furniture, broken glass, and flying debris aren’t the only things you need to worry about. You also need to worry about gas leaks.
Earthquakes and Gas Leaks: What’s the Danger?
Your home’s natural gas pipelines and water pipelines are underground and/or in the walls of your property. When there’s an earthquake, the tremors can cause these pipelines to burst, break, or become damaged. The result is a gas leak, flooding, or both. Gas leaks can also happen when your gas appliances are damaged either by the earthquake itself or from fallen furniture or debris.
Gas leaks are dangerous for two reasons. First, they can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. If there’s a significant amount of carbon monoxide in the air, you may begin to experience symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning within just two hours. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include dizziness, nausea, confusion, shortness of breath, blurred vision, weakness, a dull headache, and loss of consciousness. If left untreated, carbon monoxide poisoning can lead to neurological problems and even death.
The second reason why gas leaks are so dangerous is that an explosion or fire could ignite. When there’s a gas leak, anything that can cause a spark or generate static electricity such as candles, light switches, landlines, appliances, or matches should not be used. Explosions and fires caused by gas leaks after an earthquake can create a domino effect in the El Monte area and even across the state. It only took one smoke bomb during a couple’s gender reveal party on September 5, 2020, in Yucaipa to spark a wildfire that tore through 22,000 acres across two counties.
If you have a gas leak after an earthquake, there’s a chance that your neighbors may also have a gas leak, and one explosion or fire could cause another. This is a hazard not only to you and your family but also to your neighborhood, your property, and the environment. The good news is that there’s a way you can reduce your risk of a gas leak in your home after an earthquake: the earthquake emergency gas shutoff valve.
The Solution: Emergency Gas Shutoff Valves
An emergency gas shutoff valve is an automatic valve that turns off your natural gas line in the event of an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.4 or greater. This prevents natural gas from leaking into your home should an earthquake damage your gas line or your appliances, reducing your risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, fires, and more.
Western Rooter and Plumbing’s automatic gas shutoff valve is manufactured using state-of-the-art equipment and has been tested and approved by the City of Los Angeles, the State of California, and the CSA. Gas shutoff valves are made from high-quality aluminum and they comply with state, city, and laboratory regulations and requirements.
Endorsed by the Los Angeles area PHCC, Western Rooter and Plumbing’s automatic gas shutoff valves have a manual reset available on both sides for user convenience. We also provide a 30-year limited warranty on your gas shutoff valves so you never have to worry about your valve becoming damaged and losing your investment.
Earthquake emergency gas shutoff valves can be installed by one of our professional and experienced service technicians at Western Rooter and Plumbing. These gas shutoff valves typically cost about $345. They’re an essential part of your natural gas pipeline, and they can help to secure your safety. The risk of a high-magnitude earthquake in Southern California is high and you don’t want to install an earthquake emergency gas shutoff valve at the last minute. Be proactive and install an earthquake emergency gas shutoff valve from Western Rooter and Plumbing today.
What to Do in the Event of a Gas Leak
A gas leak typically smells like sulfur or rotten eggs, but it can also appear as bubbles in water, a dust cloud near your gas line, or a hissing/whistling noise near your gas line. In the event of a potential gas leak emergency, it’s essential that you and your family along with any pets leave the home immediately. Leave the doors open and contact your utility company, the local fire department, and 911. Don’t make the call from inside your house.
Whether the gas leak is confirmed or suspected, it’s important that you don’t turn on any household appliances or lights. Don’t use any candles, matches, lighters, or other tools that ignite. Don’t look for the source of the leak in your gas pipeline or attempt to repair the leak. This could result in exposure to carbon monoxide and carbon monoxide poisoning. Keep doors and windows open and report the situation as soon as possible.
Gas Pipeline Repairs and Replacements
An earthquake emergency gas shutoff valve will automatically shut off your natural gas line in the event of an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.4 or greater. However, a gas shutoff valve can’t protect your pipelines from damage. There’s still a chance that your pipelines can break or burst during an earthquake’s tremors.
While not all plumbers are certified to inspect and repair gas pipelines to protect your home from gas leaks, our team at Western Rooter and Plumbing has dedicated, licensed plumbers that handle gas lines. Contact your gas company to have your gas turned off immediately if you suspect a gas leak or a damaged gas pipeline. Once your gas has been turned off, contact Western Rooter and Plumbing as soon as possible.
We’ll send over our service technicians who are certified in gas leak detection and resolution, and we’ll find and repair your gas leak quickly and efficiently. We also provide free quotes on our gas leak detection and repair services so you can feel confident knowing you’re making an affordable and reliable decision.
Earthquakes and Water Pipelines
Unfortunately, earthquakes can also do some damage to your home’s water pipelines, leading to leaks and potential flooding. The good news is that Western Rooter and Plumbing also offers water line and pipe repairs, replacements, and installations in both residential and commercial buildings. If an earthquake has left you with a burst or damaged pipe, be sure to give our team of experienced technicians a call. We’ll have your home’s plumbing system repaired and working properly in no time.
Contact Western Rooter and Plumbing Today
For more information about our gas leak detection and repair services, or to learn more about our earthquake emergency gas shutoff valves, contact Western Rooter and Plumbing today. We have over 35 years of experience providing gas leak repairs and plumbing services to El Monte homeowners and the surrounding areas.