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November 25, 2016

How to Turn off Utilities When Disaster Strikes

When a disaster strikes, it’s important to shut off utilities in homes or properties to prevent further problems. For instance, pipes may burst and release water into the property, natural gas can pose a fire hazard, and electricity can cause severe injuries. Here’s how to shut off utilities in a home or property:

Natural Gas

  • Gas shut-off procedures vary from home to home. The local gas company should be contacted for information regarding the safest way to shut off gas supply in the property according to its gas meter configuration.
  • The gas shut-off procedure should be practiced, but turning off the gas when practicing is not recommended.
  • If there are gas leaks in the property, or if the CO detector goes off, windows should be immediately opened and everyone should run out as soon as possible. After turning off the gas supply, the gas company must be contacted soon after.
  • Property owners are advised to not turn the gas back on themselves. Only a qualified professional should turn the gas supply back on.

Electricity

  • After a disaster or if there is electrical damage in the property, electricity must be turned off immediately to prevent fires and electrical shocks.
  • Electricity can be turned off from the main circuit box that’s usually mounted on a wall. In many houses, the circuit box is located in the basement.
  • Inside the panel, there are multiple switches, including the main switch that shuts off all electricity in the property.
  • For safety purposes, individual switches should be shut off before shutting off the main switch.

Water

  • After a disaster, the water supply may get polluted due to cracked lines, so it’s important to shut it off until authorities say it’s safe to turn the water back on.
  • Water can be turned off from the shut-off valve for the main water line of the property. The shut-off can be found in the garage, near the water heater, on a wall near the front of the house or other areas.
  • The valve should completely close when turning it clockwise. If the valve doesn’t completely close, it may be rusted or damaged. In this case, it should be replaced by a qualified technician.

In the aftermath of a disaster, it’s essential to act quickly to prevent further damage to the home or property. More information about the consequences of not acting quickly after a disaster are available here. The PuroClean team stands ready to provide professional restoration services to any property affected by fire, water or mould damage.

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