Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today alerted customers about reports of a possible scam in areas impacted by recent earthquakes. Earlier this week, SoCalGas customers in the City of Tustin reported being approached by a door-to-door salesperson offering to install an earthquake shutoff valve and promising that SoCalGas would provide a rebate. While earthquake shutoff valves are available and can be installed by a licensed professional, SoCalGas does not currently offer a rebate for earthquake shutoff valves.
During an earthquake, SoCalGas advises customers not to shut off their own gas service unless they smell, hear, or see signs of a natural gas leak, and only if conditions are safe to do so. SoCalGas' natural gas system is resilient during earthquakes and shaking does not typically result in a natural gas leak. Customers should look, listen and smell for signs of a natural gas leak after an earthquake. If a gas leak is suspected, customers should evacuate everyone from the area immediately.
If customers turn off their natural gas during an earthquake or other emergency, they should never attempt to restore natural gas service themselves. Customers should instead call SoCalGas at 1-800-427-2200 (or 1-800-342-4545 in Spanish) to schedule an appointment to have their natural gas service safely restored by a professional.
In addition to knowing when to turn off your natural gas service, there are several steps customers can take to prepare for earthquakes or other emergencies. They include:
KEEP AN ADJUSTABLE WRENCH: It's important to know where your natural gas meter is located and keep a 12-inch+ adjustable wrench near your building exit or next to your natural gas meter shut-off valve. Steps to safely turn off your natural gas meter can be found here: https://www3.socalgas.com/stay-safe/emergency-information/shut-off-natural-gas
SECURE WATER HEATER: To keep your water heater from moving or toppling in an earthquake, customers should strap it firmly to the wall studs in two places - the upper and lower one-third of the tank – using heavy bolts and metal strapping. Be sure to place the lower strap at least four inches above the thermostat controls.
CHECK SAFETY DEVICES REGULARLY: Check your safety devices, like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, regularly to make sure they're working properly. Call SoCalGas or a qualified professional to inspect your furnace and other natural gas appliances for safe operation.
MAKE AN EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS PLAN: Being prepared for an emergency means more than just having supplies available; it means having a written plan and practicing that plan with your family. Consider having a unique plan for each type of emergency, e.g. an earthquake; flood; house or wild fire; intruder; school or work emergency; and large chemical spills near your neighborhood.
If you are approached at home by someone claiming to be a SoCalGas representative, please remember: SoCalGas employees carry proper identification when called out to any job. Customers should verify the employee's proper uniform and identification before letting anyone in the home or on their property. SoCalGas employees will always be happy to wait while the customer confirms their identity.
For more information about some of the most common scams targeting utility customers, visit socalgas.com/scam-alert.
For a complete list of rebates offered by SoCalGas, visit our website.
For more information on emergency preparedness and other helpful emergency tips, visit socalgas.com/beprepared.
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