Earthquake Preparedness

Earthquake Preparedness

With British Columbia located within an earthquake zone, Pacific Northern Gas (PNG) actively coordinates with other regional organizations as part of the provincial earthquake preparedness. These efforts work to ensure the safety of our pipeline system, the training of our employees and the testing of our well practiced response plans.

As a customer, you also have a role to play. At home or work, you can take steps to protect your natural gas equipment to create the safest possible environment in the event of an earthquake.

Before an earthquake – Prepare Your Gas Appliances

  • Anchor gas appliances wherever possible – Have a Technical Safety BC licensed contractor use flexible metal connectors, which are less susceptible to damage in an earthquake, to connect appliances to rigid gas piping.
  • Securely strap your hot water tank– It is important that it remains in place and upright during an earthquake to keep the gas line and water line from breaking, ensuring a source of water. The BC Building and Plumbing Codes now require it, and contractors who install and service water heaters can securely strap it for you.
  • Store combustible items away from your furnace and water heater – This includes items like paper, paints/solvents, laundry, propane cylinders, barbecues and gasoline-powered lawnmowers.

After an Earthquake

  • Smell Gas – If you smell rotten eggs or sulfur or hear the sound of escaping gas, go outside and then call our 24-hour natural gas emergency line at 1-800-663-1173 or 911. Do not go back inside until you are told it is safe.
    • Gas Service – Do not shut off your natural gas if you receive an evacuation order. If fire or emergency officials request PNG to do so, we will turn off natural gas service as a precautionary measure, or if there is an immediate threat to PNG infrastructure. Once fire or emergency officials confirm the situation is safe, there are a number of steps that PNG takes to safely restore natural gas service:
      • We will assess the natural gas system in the affected area, repair any damage and reactivate the affected system.
      • PNG crews will visit each home to relight all affected appliances and restore gas service at the meter, if required
      • If you are not at home, a PNG technician will leave a door tag that provides contact information. Call 1-800-667-2297 for relights.
    • Damaged Appliances? Call a Licensed Gas Contractor – Don’t try to put natural gas appliances back in service yourself. Do not use any gas appliances that have been damaged, until they have been thoroughly inspected by gas contractor licensed by Technical Safety BC.
      • The contractor will check, repair and pressure test all gas pipes that may have been affected by the earthquake. They will also check that all your gas equipment is safe to operate.
      • Use Technical Safety BC’s convenient web search tool to find a contractor in your community or you are welcome to contact them at 1-866-566-7233 to provide a list.

For more information on how to prepare you household or business for the broader impacts of an earthquake or other disaster, visit Prepared BC.