It’s a stinker alright. But, it’s become the go-to for home heating. Inexpensive, widely available and preferred by home chefs everywhere. Natural gas has numerous great qualities. And, a serious flaw.
A quick google image search of “Japan earthquake fires” will show whole neighborhoods ablaze after large earthquakes. Most homes haven’t had all gas appliances bolted or strapped to walls. The result can be water heaters and ovens separated from their gas service lines. In Japan, where homes can be very close to one another, a fire staring in one home quickly spreads. A quake may leave roads obstructed and power out. Fire services may not be able to respond and these fires can go unchecked.
What do you do? You use a Seismic Gas Shutoff Valve! These valves, like this one from www.Seismicshutoff.com are designed to save your home.
These valves are placed on your gas supply line, after the gas meter. They are designed to cut of the gas in the event of a 5.2 Richter quake or greater. This simple device has a clever design. A ball bearing rests above the line. Shaken too hard, it drops into the line and blocks the flow of gas to your home.
A seismic valve can prevent a catastrophic explosion or fire to your home. We are long overdue in the region for a large quake. For about $350 you can prevent the fire that might destroy your home, even if the quake did only minor damage. If you live in very close proximity to your neighbors, it’s worth talking with them or your HOA because fire may spread house to house in close subdivisions. www.SeismicShutoff.com does offer a discount when 4 or more neighbors in a neighborhood schedule together.
Wondering if your home has one? Unlikely. It wasn’t, and isn’t a building code requirement. If you have questions or want to discuss anything related to earthquakes, call me anytime!