Living in SoCal comes with many opportunities for work and play, and can be an exciting place to reside. However, living here does come with natural hazards such as earthquakes. Over the years, we have experienced our share of tumblers, but we always bounce back.
Earthquakes by themselves do not necessarily present an immediate danger, but rather the risk is from collapsed buildings and fires. However, you can help reduce the risk to you and your family during an earthquake emergency by learning how to secure your water heater.
Securing Your Water Heater
According to the Earthquake Country Alliance, your water heater can present a significant hazard of fire or water damage during an earthquake if it is not secured properly to prevent tipping. Your water heater also stores up to 40 or 50 gallons of water that could be used as an emergency source of water if needed.
Installation of water heater straps is not an overly taxing exercise as they are readily available at most hardware stores. When installing, make sure to run one each of the straps around the top and bottom of the water heater, anchoring it with heavy-duty lag bolts directly into the wall studs, or wood blocks bolted into the studs.
Gas Cutoff Procedures
Gas service lines are rigid and susceptible to breaking during an earthquake. This includes the steel gas pipes in your home that have been secured in your attic spaces and inside walls that lead to gas appliances such as a water heater or kitchen stove.
As a homeowner, you should always have on hand a gas valve wrench or adjustable wrench stored in an accessible place in the event of a weather- related disaster or earthquake. Know where your gas meter is located. The shutoff valve is located on an incoming gas line rising from the ground. Be sure to understand how to turn the valve a quarter turn to stop gas flow.
For more information on how to secure your water heater, contact us at Around the Clock Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. We proudly service Los Angeles and Ventura counties.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Los Angeles, North Hollywood and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about water heaters and other HVAC topics, downloadour free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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