If you live in an area that is prone to earthquakes, it’s important to take the proper precautions to ensure your home and family are safe from harm. When an earthquake strikes, a secured gas line can easily become dislodged which can result in a fire. If you truly want to feel secure during an earthquake, it may be wise to install a shut-off valve on your natural gas or propane gas line to prevent unwanted fires down the line.

At Consulting Engineers Corp., we understand how difficult it can be to properly prepare your commercial business for an earthquake all on your own. That’s why we’ve been providing full-service, custom engineering services for more than 45 years. We’re passionate about offering commercial and industrial building owners with affordable and effective retrofitting designs to help them protect their investments. If you’re interested in learning more about our earthquake retrofitting solutions, contact our engineers today!

Evaluating Your Property’s Risk of Damage

When it comes to your commercial or industrial business, the last thing you want is for an earthquake to slow you down. If your business is located in an earthquake-prone area, your gas lines should be properly braced and equipped with the latest and greatest safety devices. Since most gas and propane lines are rigid, they can easily be torn from their connection points during a natural disaster like an earthquake. When a gas or propane line breaks, it can cause a significant risk for fire or explosion.

While it is possible to manually shut off your natural gas or propane line, there are specialized valves available on the market that can automatically shut off your system in the event of an emergency. Two common types of shut off valves, include:

  • Natural Gas Shut Off Valve – Also known as a seismic natural gas shut off valve, these valves will automatically shut off your natural gas service when an earthquake occurs.
  • Excessive-Flow Valve – This type of valve will automatically shut off your natural gas service when a significant natural gas leak or an overpressure surge occurs.

How To Buy a Shut Off Valve

If you’re interested in purchasing a shut off valve for your business, there are a few things that you’ll want to keep in mind.

  • Price – The cost of your automatic shut off valve will vary depending on the type of valve you decide to go with. Things such as size and functionality will make an impact on the price of the valve you choose as well.
  • Choosing A Valve – With the large selection of automatic valves available on the market today, you may feel intimidated when it comes time to start shopping. In order to choose the right valve size for your home, contact your local Department of Building and Safety to find out the normal earthquake valve requirements.
  • Where To Purchase A Valve – Earthquake valves are available in a variety of retailers, including licensed plumbing contractors or directly from the valve manufacturer.

Before you perform any work on your gas or propane lines, it’s important to remember that this type of work should be performed by a licensed contractor.

At Consulting Engineers Corp., our engineers are registered in the states of California, Oregon, Mississippi, and Washington, and we can provide you with a custom seismic retrofit design for your structure. If you’re the owner or facility manager of a building that needs to become compliant with current seismic preparedness codes, contact our engineers today! Since 1970, we’ve designed over 100,000,000 million square feet of commercial and industrial space to withstand the harsh movements of an earthquake. Contact our experts today!