Knowing the location of these shutoffs is also very helpful if you have to have a service technician work on systems in your home. If they don't have to search for needed shutoffs, it saves time, which saves on the cost of repairs. Unfortunately, these kind of shutoffs are frequently inaccessible to apartment-dwellers. I wish I had better news about that, but it's just the way it goes.
|My water shutoff|
Water shut-offs are usually low, in a basement or crawlspace. They are also very commonly on the street-facing side of the house. (Mine happens to be in my crawlspace, at the very front of my house.) They'll be a simple valve -- just turn until it is closed.
|A common natural gas meter.|
Earthquakes are notorious for damaging natural gas lines. Powerful hurricanes and tornadoes can also damage internal gas lines in a home. Natural gas has a noxious "rotten egg" smell that can be a dead giveaway to other leak issues as well.
|A close up of the shut off valve.|
If you use propane or fuel oil instead of natural gas, contact your supplier and they can likely advise you on the location of your valve and method of emergency shutoff.
Locate and identify your shut-offs ahead of time, so you won't be scrambling to find them in an emergency.