SoCalGas Alerts Customers About Possible Utility Earthquake Valve Scam

Customers in the City of Tustin report being approached by a door-to-door salesperson offering to install an earthquake shutoff valve and promising that SoCalGas will provide a rebate

Jul 23, 2019

LOS ANGELES, July 23, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- 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.

About SoCalGas
Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest natural gas distribution utility in the United States. SoCalGas delivers affordable, reliable, clean and increasingly renewable natural gas service to 21.8 million customers across 24,000 square miles of Central and Southern California, where more than 90 percent of residents use natural gas for heating, hot water, cooking, drying clothes or other uses. Natural gas delivered through the company's pipelines also plays a key role in providing electricity to Californians— about 45 percent of electric power generated in the state comes from gas-fired power plants. 

SoCalGas' vision is to be the cleanest natural gas utility in North America, delivering affordable and increasingly renewable energy to its customers. In support of that vision, SoCalGas is committed to replacing 20 percent of its traditional natural gas supply with renewable natural gas (RNG) by 2030. Renewable natural gas is made from waste created by dairy farms, landfills and wastewater treatment plants. SoCalGas is also committed to investing in its natural gas system infrastructure while keeping bills affordable for our customers. From 2014 through 2018, the company invested nearly $6.5 billion to upgrade and modernize its natural gas system to enhance safety and reliability. SoCalGas is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), an energy services holding company based in San Diego. For more information visit socalgas.com/newsroom or connect with SoCalGas on Twitter (@SoCalGas), Instagram (@SoCalGas) and Facebook. 

About Southern California Gas Co.: Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for more than 145 years. It is the nation's largest natural gas distribution utility, providing service to 21.6 million consumers connected through 5.9 million meters in more than 500 communities. The company's service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles throughout central and Southern California, from Visalia to the Mexican border. SoCalGas is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.

 

SOURCE Southern California Gas Company

For further information: Vanessa Skillman, Office of Media and Public Information, (213) 244-2442, vskillman@semprautilities.com