PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Thursday, September 29, 2011

PSA: Utility Shutoffs

Part of a good home safety plan is knowing how to shut off your utilities in the event of an emergency. The Santa Barbara County Fire Department recommends learning the location of your of gas meter, electrical panel, and water shut off valve.

In the event of an emergency, carefully walk around your property and look for downed power lines, water and gas leaks and damage to the structure. Do not enter severely damaged buildings, especially alone. Wait and call for assistance.

Learn the location of your gas meter and how to shut it off. Do not shut off the gas supply valve unless you smell or hear gas leaking. Most gas valves require the use of a wrench to turn the valve clockwise one-quarter turn.

Know where your electrical switch box is located and which switch controls power to your home. This switch may be found on the circuit breaker panel or it may be separately located near the meter. First turn off all individual breakers and then shut off the main breaker. Remember – do not operate any electrical switches if a gas leak is suspected.

The water shut off valve is found where the water supply enters the house. Turn the valve clockwise until the valve stops turning. Water may be limited or unavailable during an emergency, so it is recommended to have stored water in your home.

Protecting yourself during an emergency requires planning. The Santa Barbara County Fire Department reminds homeowners to learn where their utilities are located and how the shut them off in the event of an emergency.

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