Many of us depend on natural gas to warm our homes, cook our food and heat our water—it is a clean, dependable natural resource. It can, however, be a safety hazard. Take the time to read how you can reduce the risk of natural gas accidents.
Safety is our highest priority. Follow these safety tips to keep yourself and your family safe.
In an emergency, your gas can be turned off at the main gas service shutoff valve. Do not shut off the gas unless you smell gas, hear gas escaping, see a broken gas line or suspect a gas leak. If you shut off the gas, there may be a considerable delay before PG&E can turn your service back on.
Your main gas shutoff valve is normally located near your gas meter. The most common places are on the side or front of a building, a cabinet located inside a building or a cabinet meter outside a building.
Keep a 12- to 15-inch adjustable pipe or crescent-type wrench or other suitable tool near your main shutoff valve so you don’t have to search for one in times of emergency.
The valve is closed when the tang (the part of the valve you put the wrench on) is crosswise (perpendicular) to the pipe.
If your gas service is set up differently from the one described and you wish to know how to turn off your gas, please contact PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.
NOTE: Once you have shut off the gas at the meter, do not try to turn it back on yourself. If the gas service shutoff valve is closed, PG&E or another qualified professional should perform a safety inspection before the gas service is restored and appliance pilots are relit.
It is important to know which appliances in your home run on gas. The most common gas appliances are stove top ranges, ovens, water heaters and furnaces.
Many older gas appliances and most water heaters have a small, continuously burning gas flame—the pilot light—that ignites the main burner. Some newer models have electronic igniters.
If the pilot light is out, shut the gas off at the appliance’s gas shutoff valve. Always wait five minutes to let gas disperse before trying to relight an appliance pilot light.
Follow the appliance manufacturer's instructions to relight a pilot light. Often, basic relight instructions are located inside the main burner compartment door. If you cannot relight the pilot light yourself, call PG&E or another qualified professional for assistance.
Most gas appliances have a gas shutoff valve located near the appliance that lets you turn off the gas to that appliance only. In some cases, turning off the gas at the appliance's shutoff valve will suffice if there is a gas leak or the appliance needs to be replaced or serviced. You should have an appliance gas shutoff valve installed at each gas appliance so that you can turn off the gas to that appliance only, instead of shutting off all gas at the main gas service shutoff valve.
To turn off the gas at the gas appliance shutoff value, rotate the valve a quarter turn.
Please report any signs of a gas leak immediately. Your awareness and action can improve the safety of your home and community.
We add a distinctive, sulfur-like, rotten egg odor so you can detect even small amounts of natural gas. However, DO NOT rely only on your sense of smell to detect the presence of natural gas.
Pay attention to hissing, whistling or roaring sounds coming from underground or from a gas appliance.
Be aware of dirt spraying into the air, continual bubbling in a pond or creek, and dead or dying vegetation in an otherwise moist area.