Earthquakes have been a hot topic this month, as recently we had two large earthquakes that shook Southern California to its core, literally! California is known to have earthquakes, and with all the seismic activity as of late, it may be a good idea to brush up on your earthquake preparedness. When we say earthquake preparedness, most think of having emergency supplies on hand, and a plan of action, and these are important things, however, earthquake preparedness should also extend to your home. Do you have an earthquake shutoff valve installed? Do you have regular plumbing inspections performed to make sure there isn’t any damage? Is your earthquake policy up to date? Here are some important things to consider when it comes to earthquake preparedness.
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Earthquakes can do a lot of damage, but did you know that the most damage comes from dangerous gas leaks. Gas leaks are dangerous because of the fire hazard. During an earthquake, gas lines can easily be broken, which can cause dangerous levels of gas to build up inside of your home. This creates a highly flammable situation, that if ignited can do a lot of damage. This is why an earthquake shutoff valve need to be installed. If your home was built after the year 2000, chances are you already have one. However, since wear and tear affects everything, having it inspected cannot hurt. If you live in an older home, you may want to consider having one installed. The process is relatively easy, and can be life saving. Earthquake pressure valves are installed right at the gas meter, and are designed to shut off the flow of gas when seismic activity over 5.1 is detected. In the event of a large earthquake, the shutoff valve will stop the flow of gas and help prevent a fire.
Regular plumbing inspections are a good idea, especially in areas that are prone to earthquakes. California has a lot of earthquakes, most of which go undetected. In fact in recent months we have had swarms of over a 1,000 small earthquakes, most of which nobody felt. But just because you don’t feel an earthquake does not’ mean it can't do any damage. Shifting ground can cause all kinds of issues from structural damage, to pipe damage. Regular plumbing inspections can help identify any weaknesses and fix them before they become a bigger problem.
If you are particularly concerned about earthquakes in your area, you may want to consider earthquake insurance. They say we are overdue for the “big one” and if that happens it could stand to do a lot of damage. Earthquake insurance offers homeowners peace of mind. You may want to check your policy and see what kind of coverage you have. It is never too early to get prepared. Make sure you have an emergency kit ready to go with water, food, a first aid kit, and a flashlight. If you are unsure if you have an earthquake shutoff valve or want to have your plumbing inspected contact Rooter Hero today!