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A natural gas leak can cause an explosive and flammable atmosphere inside a building. Even the tiniest spark inside a light switch can trigger an explosion or start a fire in the presence of a high concentration of gas.
  • If you smell gas, hear gas escaping, see a broken gas line, or 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.
  • To turn gas off:
    • Identify the main shutoff valve 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. 
    • give the valve a quarter turn in either direction. When the lever crosses the direction of the pipe the gas is off.
    • Keep a crescent wrench or gas shut-off tool nearby to turn the lever.
  • Never attempt to turn your gas back on. Wait for your utility company to do it. This may take several days.

If you suspect a leak, contact your gas utility provider, such as Southwest Gas. Most gas utility providers have emergency hotlines that you can call


Electrocution can result from direct contact with live wires or anything that has been energized by these wires.
Locate your main electric switch, which is normally in the garage or outdoors. The panel box may have a flip switch or pull handle on a large circuit breaker.

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.

Contact Tucson Electric Power (TEP) if you have an outage or there is a safety hazard caused by power lines.


Water leaks can cause property damage and create an electrocution hazard.
After a major earthquake, shut off your water supply to protect the water in your house. Cracked pipes may allow contaminants into the water supply in your home.
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.

In a water emergency, such as a broken main, contact Tucson Water

Sewer Service

A disaster that disrupts all or part of the area's water and/or sewer lines could affect the way you deal with human waste.
If there is no water in your toilet, but the sewer lines are intact, pour 3-5 gallons of water into the toilet bowl to flush. You may use bath, laundry or pool water.
If you suspect damage to your home's water lines, do NOT flush the toilet. Turn off water at the house so contaminated water does not enter your water system.
If sewer lines are broken, line bowl with double-bagged garbage bags to collect waste. Before discarding, add a small amount of bleach; then seal the bag and place in a tightly covered container, away from people.
If the toilet is unusable, use a sturdy bucket with a tight fitting lid, and line it with a double-bagged plastic garbage bag.
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