During an emergency, especially those that are ground moving such as earthquakes, you’ll need to know how to turn off your utilities to avoid leaks, fires or flooding damage.  It’s best to learn and practice now, before an emergency strikes.  Here’s the information you need to know to turn your gas off:

  • Where: the gas meter and gas shut-off are usually on the outside of the house in the front or the side, although some houses have gas meters in a cabinet enclosures inside.
  • When: since gas meters can only be turned back on by the gas company, it is important to shut-off the gas only if you smell gas, hear gas escaping, see a broken gas line, or if you suspect a gas leak.  There can be a delay in getting your gas turned back on, so turn it off only if instructed by your gas company or if you see the above indicators.
  • How: using a crescent wrench or adjustable pipe, turn the shutoff valve a quarter turn in either direction, so that it is running crosswise to the gas pipe.  In the picture below, the shutoff valve is the highlighted part, the actual valve is on the left hand side of the picture.  In the picture, it is in the “on” position because it is running with the flow of the pipe, up and down.