Gas Meter Safety

Stay safe after an Earthquake

To mark the 20th anniversary of the Northridge earthquake, Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas®) would like to remind customers about natural gas safety in the event of an earthquake.


If you smell gas, hear the sound of gas escaping or see signs of a leak, do not light a match, candle or cigarette and do not turn electrical devices – not even a light switch – on or off, or use any device that can cause a spark. Immediately evacuate the area of the leak and, from a safe location, call SoCalGas at 1-800-427-2200.


Shutting Off Gas


Because its response to customer calls may be delayed in the aftermath of an earthquake, SoCalGas offers the following information on shutting off appliance line valves and the gas meter for those customers who feel it is necessary, prudent, and safe to do so before SoCalGas is able to respond:


Do not turn off the gas meter after an earthquake, unless you smell, hear or see signs of gas escaping, and ONLY if it is safe to do so.


If an appliance or appliance connector appears to have a leak, turning off the line valve between shutting off all gas service at the meter. Some valves may the appliance and gas line may permit you to turn off the gas at the appliance rather than require a wrench to turn them. If this does not stop the leak, the gas will have to be shut off at the meter. To turn the gas off at the meter, use a 12-inch or larger adjustable wrench and turn the valve a quarter-turn in either direction until the valve is cross-wise to the pipe. This will shut off the flow of gas.  

Safely Shut Off Gas In An Emergency 

Restoring Gas Service


If you turn off your gas at the meter, leave it off. Do not turn it back on yourself. Interior gas piping and appliances must be inspected for possible damage before service can be safely restored.

Call SoCalGas to turn the gas back on, relight the pilots and service your appliances. Note that certain repairs may have to be performed by your plumber or heating contractor. However, only SoCalGas field employees are allowed to turn on the gas meter.


More Articles

How to Recognize and Respond to a Natural Gas Leak

Learn More about Emergency Preparedness