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Clarification on gas meter shutoff after an emergency

Article Published 06/17/2015

Questar Gas in April issued a detailed clarification on natural gas meter shutoff advice, following an earthquake or other disaster.
While it is important to know how to turn off your gas meter, it is equally as valuable to know when to do this. For example, do not automatically shut off your gas meter after an earthquake.
From Questar’s April Gaslight news:
“It’s a good idea to be familiar with the look and sound of your gas meter under everyday conditions, and to know where the shutoff valve is located. Once you’ve secured yourself and your family, conduct a quick inspection after any incident involving your home.
Leave the meter on unless the following conditions exist: • You smell natural gas;
• You hear natural gas leaking;
• You see structural damage to your home;
• There’s fire in close proximity to your home;
• Questar Gas makes the request.
Then, turn the meter off only if you can do it safely! The shutoff valve is located next to the meter ... Turn the valve a quarter turn in either direction to the “off” position. Once the meter is shut off, it should only be turned back on by Questar Gas.
Remember, it may not be necessary to turn your meter off after an earthquake or other disaster. After a Bay Area earthquake, for example, 156,000 gas meters were turned off. This turned out to be necessary in only about two percent of the cases. Since natural gas meters should only be turned on by a qualified professional, some customers were unnecessarily without gas service for weeks.
If that happened in Questar Gas’s service areas during the winter, it could cause additional problems like freezing water pipes.
-For more information, go to to read or download our Earthquake Preparedness and Natural Gas brochure. If you don’t know the smell of natural gas, call 1-800-323-5517 and ask for our The Stink Should Make You Think odorant brochure.”