Every year, GNS Science identifies over 15,000 earthquakes in New Zealand. Of those thousands, around 150 of them are felt around us. Historical records show that New Zealand experiences many magnitude 6 quakes yearly, a magnitude 7 at least once per decade, and a magnitude 8 every century.
You might wonder how earthquakes relate to gasfitting, but it’s more connected than you think. Earthquakes can cause property damage on their own, but secondary effects are equally as damaging. Fires, floods, and explosions often follow on from a devastating earthquake due to the shock waves and pressure waves.
That’s why it’s crucial to have an automatic shut-off valve if you have gas lines leading to your property or place of business. In the event of an earthquake, those lines can be like a ticking time bomb. There’s no denying that gas appliances are exceptionally convenient in your home – but only when a natural disaster isn’t in play!
If you’re on the fence about an earthquake shut-off valve or trigger, then read on. We’ve included a few of the many benefits of such an addition.
It Can Preserve Your Gas Line
As any gasfitting expert will tell you, a shut-off valve can preserve your gas line. Any slight damage to your line during an earthquake can have significant consequences – and even more so if there is no way for you to shut off the gas.
A leak that’s left to its own devices can put your entire family at risk, or even cause your house to go up in flames.
You’ll Feel Safer in Your home
No one will be in a hurry to forget the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, which left 185 people dead and around 2,000 people injured. Thousands of people lost their homes – either through damage or red-zoning.
While an earthquake shut-off valve can’t stop deaths, injuries, or property damage caused by the earthquake, it can leave you with one less thing to worry about. If you know your gas is going to turn off at the first hint of trouble, you can worry about your family and pets without a natural gas leak looming over your heads.
You Don’t Have to Worry About Manually Turning It Off
Experts in New Zealand recommend that you leave your gas on at the main valve unless you smell gas or believe it is leaking. If you’re in doubt, it can be safer to turn it off. If you’re 100 percent sure it’s okay, then that can be the safer option to leave it on.
It can take professionals weeks to turn your gas back on using the correct procedures after a natural disaster, and it’s not something you should do yourself. Injuries and deaths have occurred when homeowners have attempted to turn the gas back on themselves. If it automatically turns off by itself, then you don’t have to play the mental game of “should I, shouldn’t I” because your automatic valve has decided for you.
What Can Automatic Gas Shut-Off Valves Do?
The market is full of different options, with some designed for home use and others for business operations. Some of the best shut-off valves on the market shut down gas and fuel lines, flame sources, and power to electric lines and cables at the same time.
Some can also switch you over to emergency power supplies (such as in a hospital environment), turn on emergency lighting, stop escalators, and trigger the organised shutdown of computer systems. If you have been thinking about investing in a shut-off valve for your business, then your local gasfitting expert can fill you in on the options available to suit your industry.
What Do Master Plumbers Recommend?
In an emergency, such as damage to your lines, Master Plumbers recommendthose without automatic shut-off valves turn their gas off at the source. You can turn the valve off at the gas meter inlet if you have a gas line. If you’re on LPG, turn the taps off on the tops of your bottles.
Equally as important as your gas lines is your water supply. If you’re leaving your property after earthquake damage, or your services have been damaged, then it’s helpful to know what to do. Locate your water shut-off valve and turn it off. This is generally under a lid close to your property’s boundary. If you’re on pump water, isolate the power to your pump and turn your water off at the tank.
Most people hope they will never be caught up in a natural disaster that damages their property and injures their family. The reality is, it’s always going to be a possibility in New Zealand. If you’re prepared, you can potentially limit the damage post-earthquake. Consider the investment in an automatic shut-off valve, or know where your gas mains are to be able to turn them off in an emergency.
If you smell gas or you’re unsure how to turn off your gas (and you have to), get in touch with a gasfitting expert. In the event of a gas leak, leave your property immediately and dial for emergency services.
My name is Theresa Le Roux, I am originally from Montreal, Canada but I have spent the last 5 years in beautiful New Zealand. I write Digital marketing articles for businesses that want a different perspective on subjects that are important to their content output. I regularly contribute articles to Clickthrough SEO New Zealand. I am a diehard Game of Thrones fan with a passion for novels and live music! My career goal is to one day write a novel of my own. Connect me via email [email protected]