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Water Heater Safety Tips

We all must take action to prepare, now and throughout the year, for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work, and while we commute.

A common problem in the home during an earthquake is your water heater and gas appliance lines.

1. Unsecured water heaters often fall over during an earthquake, rupturing rigid water and gas connections. This can create an explosion, fire hazard, or cause flooding. If your water heater does not have two straps around it that are screwed into the studs or masonry of the wall, then it is not properly braced.

If you have an insulation blanket on your water heater you will need to remove it and place the restraints directly on the water heater, and then reinstall your blanket.

2. You also want to check your gas and water line connections to the water heater and other appliances to ensure they are flexible or corrugated. Flexible gas lines are now available with a gas safety valve that will automatically restrict the gas flow to a non-hazardous level in the event of a disconnection or rupture.

3. Know where your gas and water shut-off valves are located, so that you don’t have to search for them during the chaos of an emergency. Water shut-offs are usually located on an exterior wall of the house or possibly in the garage. The gas shut-offs will be located near the appliance.