West Pierce Fire & Rescue is dedicated to ensuring the community is prepared in the event of a disaster. During major disasters, such as an earthquake, firefighters may be delayed in their response to 9-1-1 calls and the community will need to rely on each other to assist until help arrives.
Each month, WPFR is sharing tips from the Washington Emergency Management Division’s Prepare in a Year series, available here in both English and Spanish. This process breaks down disaster preparedness into smaller tasks that can be accomplished month to month.
This month’s disaster preparedness tip is about utility safety.
After a disaster, natural gas leaks can cause a fire, so turn it off following a disaster if you smell gas, hear hissing or see the meter dials spinning more rapidly. To prepare, label the natural gas valve and make sure all family members know how to shut it off.
Propane tanks are extremely flammable and it is important they are qualified by a trained professional and serviced regularly. Do not store your tanks in a building, garage or enclosure.
Electricity has the potential of igniting natural gas fires. Make sure that you know where your electricity circuit box is and how to shut off the electricity to the entire house.
Prep tip: secure a non-sparking tool near the gas shutoff off easy access. Make any wrench non-sparking by wrapping it completely in electrical tape. Remember: only a licensed professional can turn your gas back on.