During a hurricane, natural gas appliances shouldn’t require anything. Natural gas lines are underground, so there is no need to take any special precautions. In addition, South Coast Gas monitors our natural gas system and will shut off the gas if it becomes necessary. In cases of severe lightning, consider unplugging any natural gas appliances to avoid electrical damage.
If evacuation is necessary, don’t worry about natural gas appliances. When evacuating, it is not necessary to stop natural gas service to indoor appliances before leaving. Simply turn the thermostat to the off position before going. For outdoor appliances, consider turning the shut-off valve to the off position while away. If a falling tree or other flying debris should strike the appliance, this could prevent the possibility of a natural gas leak from a damaged appliance.
When returning from evacuation, check natural gas appliances first. Check around the house and appliances for the smell of natural gas first. This should be done before attempting to turn on or operate any type of switch or appliance. Natural gas has a very distinctive tart, sulfur odor. If a light smell of natural gas is detected, open windows and doors to ventilate the house and then use a neighbor’s phone to call South Coast Gas and report this immediately. If the smell is very strong or overwhelming when entering the building, leave immediately and call South Coast Gas. If there is neither a smell of natural gas nor a suspicion of a leak, operation of natural gas appliances should be safe. However, if there are concerns regarding these appliances contact South Coast Gas to make sure that there were no problems while you were away.
If the electricity is out, many natural gas appliances will still operate. Most natural gas cooking, lighting and water heating appliances will continue to operate safely without the use of electricity.
Natural Gas Power Generators will return electricity to the structure within 30 seconds and continue providing electricity until the original power source has returned. After a power outage, if the generator was in use for several days, the oil should be checked and if necessary, changed. Maintenance of the generator consists only of a yearly oil change. In preparation for Hurricane season, it is not necessary to check the operation of the natural gas power generator because it runs a 15-minute self-test each week.
Natural Gas Interior and Exterior Lights will operate safely without the use of electricity. However, it may require you to light the pilot manually (if they have an electronic ignition device that lights the pilot.) In such cases, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for manually lighting the pilot lights.
Natural Gas Cooktops and Ranges will operate safely without the use of electricity. However, it may require you to light them manually (if they have an electronic ignition device.) In such cases, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for manually lighting the appliance.
Natural Gas Water Heaters will operate safely without the use of electricity. However, it may require you to light the pilot manually (if it has an electronic ignition device that lights the pilot.) In such cases, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for manually lighting the pilot on the water heater.