Gas safety. Find out what you can do to prevent natural gas accidents.

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.

Gas Safety Tips
When to Turn Off Your Gas
How to Turn Off Your Gas
Gas Appliance Information
What to Do if You Suspect a Gas Leak
Signs of a Gas Leak

Gas Safety Tips  

Safety is our highest priority. Follow these safety tips to keep yourself and your family safe.

  • Never use a flashlight, match or candle to look for gas leaks, and never turn electric switches on or off if you suspect a gas leak.
  • Do not store flammable materials such as mops, brooms, laundry and newspapers near your water heater, furnace, oven, range or any gas appliance.
  • Do not store combustible materials such as paints, solvents and gasoline in the same room as your water heater, furnace, oven, range or any gas appliance.
  • Stock your kitchen with a fire extinguisher.
  • If a pilot light is out, shut off the gas at the appliance gas shutoff valve. Wait five minutes to let gas disperse before trying to relight the appliance pilot light.
  • Keep an adjustable pipe or crescent wrench or other similar tool near your main shutoff valve so you don’t have to search for one in times of emergency.

When to Turn Off Your Gas  

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.

How to Turn Off Your Gas  

Gas safety diagram
  • 1

    Locate the main gas shutoff valve.
    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.

  • 2

    Have a wrench handy.
    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.

  • 3

    Give the valve a quarter turn.
    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.

Gas Appliance Information  

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.

Pilot Lights
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.

Gas Appliance Shutoff Valves
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.

Stoves (ranges and ovens)

  • When lighting the burners, light the match before you turn on the gas. If the flame goes out, turn off the burner and let the gas disperse before relighting.
  • Clean away any grease, oil or debris from the area to prevent a grease fire. In the event of a grease fire, never add water. Use baking soda or, if the fire is in a pan, use a lid to smother the flame. Stock your kitchen with a fire extinguisher.
  • Move any flammable objects such as towels and curtains away from the burners.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home. This misuse puts you at risk of burns from hot surfaces and shortens the life of oven parts and controls.

Water Heaters

  • Make sure your water heater is securely anchored to a wall to prevent it from shifting or falling during an earthquake.
  • If your water heater is elevated, make sure the platform is sturdy enough to withstand the weight of the water heater if it moves during an earthquake.

Furnaces

  • Have your furnace serviced once a year.
  • Clean or replace your filter regularly—depending on how frequently you use it.
  • Air supply vents must be clear of obstructions. Furnaces need a constant supply of fresh air to run efficiently and safely.

What to Do if You Suspect a Gas Leak  

  • Alert everyone nearby and leave the area immediately to an upwind location.
  • Do not use anything that could be a source of ignition, including cell phones, flashlights, light switches, matches or vehicles, until you are a safe distance away.
  • Call 911 for emergency assistance and then call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.

Signs of a Natural Gas Leak  

Please report any signs of a gas leak immediately. Your awareness and action can improve the safety of your home and community.

  • Smell
    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.

  • Sound
    Pay attention to hissing, whistling or roaring sounds coming from underground or from a gas appliance.

  • Sight
    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.

  • Street Light Products & Services
  • College Incentives
  • Home Lighting
 
twitterfacebookyoutubeCurrents