How to Shut off Your Utilities

Natural Gas Checklist

Natural gas leaks can cause an explosive and flammable atmosphere inside a building.

  • If you smell gas, hear gas escaping, see a broken gas line, or if you suspect a leak, shut off the main valve and open all windows and doors.
  • Never use candles or matches if you suspect a leak. Do not turn on electrical switches or appliances.
  • Identify the main shutoff valve, which is located on the gas line coming into the main gas meter. This is usually on the exterior of your home or building, or in an external closet. Your main valve may look like the image on the upper right.
  • To turn gas off, give the valve a quarter turn in either direction. When the lever crosses the direction of the pipe (see image on lower right) the gas is off.
  • Keep a crescent wrench or gas shut-off tool nearby to turn the lever.
  • Once you turn off the gas, never attempt to turn it back on yourself. Wait for your utility company to do it, but be aware that it may take several days for it to be turned back on.


Propane Checklist
  • If you use propane, you will have a shut-off valve on your storage tank.
  • If you have no experience relighting, you should call your local propane dealer to restart for you.
  • For more info on propane safety, refer to Propane Consumer Safety Information.


Electricity Checklist

Locate your home's main electric switch, which is normally in the garage or outdoors, where the power lines enter the home. The panel box may have a flip switch or pull handle on a large circuit breaker. Electrocution can result from direct contact with live wires or anything that has been energized by these wires. Shut off electricity when:

  • Arcing or burning occurs in electrical devices.
  • There is a fire or significant water leak.
  • You smell burning insulation.
  • The area around switches or plugs is blackened and/or hot to the touch.
  • A complete power loss is accompanied by the smell of burning material.

PG&E: 800-743-5000 or


Water Checklist

Water leaks can cause property damage and create an electrocution hazard.

  • Shut off the water when there is a leak inside the building.
  • The water shutoff is usually located in the basement, garage, or where the water line enters the home. The water shutoff is located on a riser pipe and is usually a red or yellow wheel. Turn wheel clockwise to shut off.