Earthquake Safety And Securing Gas Lines

In the event of an earthquake, secured gas lines are likely to become dislodged, leaving natural gas exposed and possibly resulting in a fire. When it comes to fire safety and earthquake preparedness, having a shut-off valve installed on your natural gas line or propane gas can help prevent fires and should not be overlooked when it comes to earthquake safety. Keep reading for more earthquake safety tips.

Evaluate Your Property’s Risk of Damage

  • If the facility is located in an earthquake-prone area, the gas lines should be properly braced and equipped with proper safety devices. Because most gas or propane lines are rigid, they can be torn from their connection points during an earthquake.
  • A broken gas or propane line creates the potential for a fire or explosion.
  • Fire following earthquake is a frequent source of property damage that can be reduced by taking the proper steps before an earthquake strikes.
  • Safety shut-off valves will stop the flow of gas when they sense a problem.

Flexible Connection Pipe: One way to prevent broken gas or propane lines is to have flexible connection pipes installed between gas or propane appliances/equipment and their supply lines. If you are unsure whether you have flexible connections on your natural gas or propane system, contact the local gas/propane company.

Finding a Solution

Before beginning any work with gas or propane, remember this type of work must be performed by a licensed contractor to ensure the work is done correctly and according to all applicable codes. The following guidance will help to reduce the risk of gas lines becoming dislodged and starting a fire:

  • Natural gas lines should have automatic seismic safety shut-off valve at all structure entry points.
  • The automatic safety shut-off valve is typically a small device (often red) installed near the gas meter or the propane tank.
  • If you are unsure whether you have an automatic shut-off valve on your natural gas or propane system, contact the local gas/propane company.

Natural gas and propane lines should also be provided with adequate flexibility to accommodate the anticipated differential movement between the following:

  • At the interface of adjacent structures or portions of the same structure that may move independently.
  • The ground and the structure.