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Home Protection 101, Earthquake Valves

Seismic gas shutoff valves

How many times have you wondered if you’re really ready for a big earthquake? We know that the “big one” will occur, but when? This uncertainty is a fact of Bay Area life that we somehow can’t quite get used to. In uncertain times, there is something that we can do to protect our homes and loved ones from fires resulting from an earthquake and the best part is that it works automatically.

Automatic Gas Shut Off Valves

We know that fire from a ruptured or leaking gas line is one of the main devastating consequences of a big quake. As natural gas accumulates in an unvented space, it can be ignited from a spark caused simply by turning on a light switch. Every home in a fault zone should be equipped with an automatic gas shut-off valve, which will interrupt the main gas supply at the PGE meter during a 5.4 magnitude or greater earthquake…automatically.

E.Q. valves have become mandatory when applying for a building permit in Contra Costa County and undoubtedly other jurisdictions will follow. Currently, there are a variety of products on the market that perform this task well, but one of the best is the Little Firefighter which is a simple, well-made device and carries a 30-year manufacturers’ warranty. Whenever feasible, we prefer to install the “optional” stabilizing bracket which will help prevent annoying “false trips”.

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