Earthquake Fire Safety
Earthquakes present possible fire danger in homes and businesses. It is estimated that natural gas has played a continuous role between 20% and 50% of fires following Earthquakes in California. In addition, the study showed that electricity also played a role in an estimated 50% of fires following an earthquake.
Here are few tips from the United States Fire Administration, on how to keep your house or business safe from post-earthquake fires:
- Turn off gas control valve immediately after an earthquake.
- Smell and listen for leaky gas connections. If you believe there is a gas leak, immediately leave the house and leave the door(s) open.
- Never strike a match. Any size flame can spark an explosion.
- Before turning the gas back on, have the gas system checked by a professional.
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- If you can safely get to the main breaker or fuse box, turn off the power.
- Look for items that might have jarred loose during the earthquake. Appliances or power connectors could create a fire hazard.
- Assume all wires on the ground are electrically charged. This includes cable TV feeds.
- Look for and replace frayed or cracked extension and appliance cords, loose prongs, and plugs.
- Exposed outlets and wiring could present a fire and life safety hazard.
- Appliances that emit smoke or sparks should be repaired or replaced.
- Have a licensed electrician check your home for damage.