When you have an earthquake the earth basically turns into a liquid and forces the ground to separate and do a little dance of mayhem. You’ll notice that holes can appear and eat up large vehicles and even blocks of houses. Another thing that can happen is gas lines being bent or pinched, storing up pressure, and once an ignition goes off near by…boom!
Recently in California there was a 6.0 earthquake that hit Sonoma county. Now California is earthquake savvy with how to build its houses but it wasn’t always like this in The Golden State. Before the massive earthquake that about destroyed San Francisco in the late 1800’s, a lot of the homes built there were similar to the ones on the east coast at the time. When the quake hit it leveled almost every building and home in the area. Since then the homes in California have been built to be earthquake smart, like having floating roofs, and making sure that the building can flex a bit when the shaking starts.
One thing that was not taken into account was how to retrofit some of the older buildings with new and improved earthquake technology. When the recent earthquake hit many of these structures were heavily damaged and many of their older gas pipes were broken, causing a gas leak, and eventually exploding. Hundreds of people died due to the explosions.
If you have an older home you can have your gas line updated so that if anything happens, a leak or the main regulator is disconnected, the gas will immediately shut itself off. This will ensure your home’s safety as well as your ability to continue breathing. These small steps in safety can really mean the difference between life and death and should not be taken lightly.