Direct Energy

Direct Energy

June 24, 2010 12:06 ET

Gas and Power Safety During and After an Earthquake

Direct Energy Provides 10 Helpful Tips in the Event of an Emergency

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 24, 2010) - Earthquakes catch people completely off guard, but related hazards needn't if you are well prepared. There are several precautions you can take to protect yourself and your family against electrical and gas hazards that could result from an earthquake. Direct Energy offers the following tips for homeowners during and after an earthquake to help ensure their families are safe and sound, and to prevent further damage.

During or after an earthquake:

  1. If you are cooking, turn off the stove and take cover.
  2. Smell and listen for leaky gas connections. If you believe there is a gas leak, immediately leave the house, leaving the door(s) open, and contact the Fire Department. You should shut off the gas only if it is safe to do so. Never turn your gas back on without the help of a licensed professional.
  3. Leaking natural gas lines, and damaged or leaking propane gas containers are a fire and explosion hazard. Do not use an open flame or other potential sources of ignition to check for gas leaks.
  4. If you see sparks, frayed wires, or smell hot insulation turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or breaker panel.
  5. Stay well away from downed or damaged power lines and report them immediately to local police and fire department, as well as to the local transmission and distribution services provider in the area.
  6. Check your home for water leaks and structural damage that might be a sign of damage to wiring or piping within the walls.
  7. Do a check of your home to see if your appliances and any other household products have shifted, fallen or leaked. There is a risk of electric shock from damaged appliances and other electrical equipment. Wet conditions increase this risk. Damaged appliances or power cords could create a fire hazard. If the power is out, unplug major appliances to prevent possible damage when the power is turned back on.
Before an emergency:
 
  1. Ensure that your home is equipped with working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  2. Know how to shut off the gas, water supply line and main electrical breaker, and clearly label the on-off position. 
  3. Always ensure the area near the water heater or any other natural gas appliance is free of flammable liquids, such as gasoline or paint thinners and other combustible materials.

About Direct Energy

Direct Energy is one of North America's largest energy and energy-related services providers with over 5 million residential and commercial customer relationships. Direct Energy provides customers with choice and support in managing their energy costs through a portfolio of innovative products and services. A subsidiary of Centrica plc (LSE:CNA), one of the world's leading integrated energy companies, Direct Energy operates in 20 states plus DC and 10 provinces in Canada. To learn more about Direct Energy, visit www.directenergy.com.

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