Natural Gas Safety in Flood Situations

What to do Before a Flood

If you have enough advance warning prior to a flood, protect your appliances by:

  • Having a licensed Heating Contractor remove the electric motor, burner and controls from the furnace and shut off the gas and electric supply.
  • Having a licensed Heating Contractor remove hot water tanks, clothes dryers and ranges from your building.
  • Have a Contractor cap and properly thread seal the gas pipe leading to the appliance shut off valve. This is to prevent the backflow of flood water into the gas piping system.
  • If you have natural gas clothes dryers, ranges and other appliances removed, ensure the gas supply valve is shut off to the appliance first.
  • Do not drain hot water tanks. Just shut off the water supply leading to and from the tank.

If you don’t have enough time or a licensed heating contractor is not available:

  • Turn off electrical power to each appliance and leave it off.
  • Shut off the gas supply valve to the appliance.

Do not shut off your natural gas if you receive an evacuation order

If 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 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.


Once the gas is shut off at the meter, DON’T try to turn it back on. Only a certified gas technician can turn the gas on safely. Call PNG or any qualified gas fitter to restore gas service. If leaking gas starts to burn, don’t try to put the flame out. Leave immediately and only shut off the gas at the meter if you are able.

If You Are Evacuating Your Premises

Shut off your gas valve at the meter. You can turn your gas off at the main shut-off valve on the inlet pipe next to your gas meter. Using a wrench or other suitable tool, give the valve a quarter turn in either direction so that it is crosswise to the pipe.

What to do After a Flood

If water levels were high enough to cover the gas meter, call PNG to check your meter and regulator before using your gas system. Flood waters may have shifted your home or caused other stresses to the gas piping.

CAUTION: If you smell gas, or if there is evidence of a gas leak, don’t enter the building. Turn your gas off at the main shut-off valve on the inlet pipe next to your gas meter. Using a wrench or other suitable tool, give the valve a quarter turn in either direction so that it is crosswise to the pipe. Call our 24-hour emergency line at 1-800-663-1173, your local fire department, or 911.

All electrical wiring in buildings that have been partially or fully covered by flood water must be checked by a qualified electrician or electrical inspector before being put into service again. Any loose wires should be considered “live” and a definite hazar

Always Call a Licensed Heating Contractor

Don’t try to put natural gas appliances back in service yourself. Gas appliances that have been flooded should not be used until inspected by a licensed heating contractor.

A licensed heating contractor will check, clean, repair and pressure test all gas pipes that have been clogged with mud or debris. Switches, controls, thermostats, furnace heat exchangers, burner and pilot parts and rusting metal parts can also be damaged.

Please note, the cost of restoring some appliances to a safe operating condition can exceed the cost of a new appliance.

Protect your family with these simple steps.

Prepare your emergency survival kit and Include the following items:

  • Water! At least two to four litres of water per person per day. Small bottles can be carried easily in case of an evacuation order.
  • Food that will not spoil, such as canned food, energy bars and dried foods – do not forget pet food
  • Manual can opener
  • Flashlight and lantern with spare batteries
  • Battery-powered or wind-up radio
  • First aid kit
  • Prescription medications
  • Infant formula/care items
  • Important personal and family documents
  • Warm clothing, including waterproof outer garments and footwear for each household    member
  • Basic tools (hammer, pliers, wrench, screwdrivers, and gloves)
  • Blankets
  • Personal toiletries
  • Identification for each member of your household
  • Cash in small bills

Get in touch

For more information on flood safety, call us at 1-800-667-2297 or visit these organization’s websites:

  1. Technical Safety BC
  2. Emergency Management BC