Hurricane Safety for Gas Customers
When hurricane season is upon us it is important to be familiar with gas safety. When a hurricane threatens, leave the gas on unless notified. Because most gas facilities are located underground, rarely does a hurricane threaten your service.
Check your yard for loose items. Move and secure items not firmly installed before the storm arrives. This includes grills, patio furniture, swings, pool equipment and supplies, even water hose reels. Items such as these can be blown around by hurricane winds causing unnecessary damage to your home or gas meter.
Gas ranges with pilot lights require no additional care. Continue to cook as usual. When the electricity is off, surface top burners with electric ignition may still be usable. Check your owner’s manual for lighting instructions when the power is out. Most ovens and broilers on ranges with electric ignition cannot be used when the power is off.
Most dryers have a safety valve which automatically shuts off the flow of gas. In addition, your gas dryer needs electricity to operate.
A portable grill should either be moved inside or securely tied down outside. A grill with a patio base should either be bolted down or disconnected and brought inside. A grill with a permanent post is usually secure and does not need any additional tie down. The lid of any gas grill remaining outside should be securely tied closed to prevent it from snapping open.
Water Heaters/Pool and Spa Heaters
Most water, pool and spa heaters have a safety valve which will automatically shut off the flow of gas if the pilot light goes out.
If Asked to Evacuate
Leave the gas on. Turning off the gas could result in unnecessary delays in restoring your service. It is not necessary to turn off the gas at your meter. By leaving the gas on you will be able to cook and, as long as there is a reliable supply of water, you will have hot water. Leaving gas on also helps you avoid reconnection fees.
After a Hurricane
Clean-up efforts after previous hurricanes show that more gas lines are broken during clean-up than during the actual storm.
Before removing fallen trees, call for a FREE utility line location by dialing 8-1-1.
If You Smell Gas
Do not do anything to cause a spark (i.e., using a garage door opener, portable phone, etc.). Immediately evacuate the premises and call the City of Leesburg Gas Department’s 24/7 emergency number at 352-728-9840 or 9-1-1. It is important to call from a telephone away from the building where you smell gas. In the case of a gas leak, our first responsibility is to make sure the area is safe. Service will be restored as soon as possible. All City personnel carry identification and will, upon request, show their identification before entering your home.
If Flooding Occurs
If your home or business was flooded and gas appliances were underwater, do not attempt to operate the appliances. Water can cause damage to the internal safety mechanism and create a hazardous condition. Call a qualified appliance contractor for a safety inspection.