This may go without saying, but the moment you smell gas in your home or property, you have a problem at hand. Close all windows, doors, and fans. Leave the area immediately and call the fire department from a nearby neighbor’s home. If you’re about to light an appliance, open a window and immediately turn on fans and air conditioners to help eliminate the gas and to help ventilate the room.
For maximum safety, you need to have a working knowledge of your gas meter and gas shut-offs. Read on to learn more about them:
Finding the Gas Meter
Where is it exactly? Start by checking at the front of your house. You can find it near an exterior wall of your property, and it will resemble a box or cabinet-like structure. A quick search from the sidewalk should be able to lead you to your gas meter if that doesn’t work out. Any valve caps and hinges will be clearly visible from street level, and if you look up from the sidewalk, you’ll be able to see the meter itself.
If the meter is not visible, you will need to call your energy provider to locate it. If the meter is too buried to uncover, it can be replaced with a modern gas meter that is less intrusive with your property.
The Shut-Off Valves of the Gas System
There are three types of gas valves:
- House-side gas valve
- Street-side gas valve
- Supply valves
The two shut-off valves are the master shut-off and the supply shut-off. The master shut-off valve stops gas from flowing in the home; the supply shut-off valve, sometimes also called an individual shut-off, cuts the gas for a particular appliance or area.
If you are in the middle of a project when the gas supply accidentally gets turned off, you can shut off the gas main to your house and then turn the gas on again when you are ready to complete the job. Turn the master shutoff valve clockwise as far as it will go and then back it up again one-fourth turn or so. If there is pressure in the gas pipe, the valve will leak a little where the valve is screwed into the pipe.
The natural gas shutoff is usually located within 10 feet of the gas meter. It may be covered by a round metal cover. It will have a handle that turns from left to right and may have a lever that is pushed down to unlock it. The gas supply shutoff will be located near the gas meter.
It’s important to be alert when the smell of gas starts to spread in a home or property. When this happens, locate the gas meter in your exterior and shut off the valve. There are two shut-off valves: master and supply. Master will cut off the whole house’s gas; supply is more specific to certain areas. By having a working knowledge of your gas valves and knowing what to do in case of an emergency, you’re saving not only your property but everyone in your household.
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