Skip to main content

Earthquakes and Gas Leaks

I am determined to buck the trends when it comes to blogging--that shouldn't be too hard with a site that focuses on false alarms and features photos of a ferret.  I just don't think that there are many blogs out there that focus on either of these things--and certainly not any that combine the two. Also, I figure that there are enough posts about current popular topics without me adding my two cents.  Hurricane Irene and the earthquake are recent examples.  However, I can provide a public service announcement for those living in the earthquake affected areas.  We have lived in Japan and California, so have experienced earthquakes several times.  I knew that I should inspect my home for damage, but to be honest, I didn't really feel much any concern that there might be damage.  That is until last Monday when my husband called to tell me that a neighbor texted him that he had smelled gas near our house when he walked his dog.  Needless to say, my schedule for the day changed drastically starting with an emergency call to the gas company.  Several hours later, the leak (actually, several leaks) was confirmed outside when the technician hadn't even left his truck before the equipment began to "alarm".  And this certainly was not a false alarms as he found several leaks in the connections at the gas meter. He speculated that the earthquake may have "jiggled" (that's a technical term) enough to loosen the connections.
The smell is is often the first clue to a gas leak.  However, I didn't smell anything because I have had a summer cold/sinus issues for two weeks.  (If you smell gas inside your home, you should leave immediately.  The gas company site says not to even do as little as flicking a light switch as that could cause a spark and create a bigger problem--namely an explosion).  Fortunately for us, our leak seemed to be restricted to outside our home.  I shudder to think what might have happened if the leak had been inside since we have a tankless water heater that uses gas and flame to heat our water. However, identifying the problem turned out to be the easy part.  Getting it fixed took 3 visits by a plumber spread over a week.  Let me tell you right now that a cold shower at 5 am is not a good start to a day.
So my public safety message is to get out and inspect your home if you were in the areas affected by the earthquake.  You never know what all that moving and shaking may have jostled.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Lexington KY False Alarms

Our travels last week took us through Kentucky.  Of course I had to peruse the web to see what is going on in the world of false alarm reduction in the bluegrass state.  Of the cities that we would be visiting, Lexington was the first that I found with a false alarm reduction unit.

Alarm systems in Lexington must be registered and there is an application fee of $15, which seems to be a one time fee. (Update: the $15 fee is an annual fee). Lexington's ordinance is similar to most other ordinances, but it has a feature that I have not seen before.  The fine schedule lists minimum and maximum fines.  If an alarm user doesn't contest the alarm, they pay the minimum fine.  If they contest the fine and lose, they could end up paying the maximum fine. Fines begin at the fourth alarm with a $25 minimum fine and go up to a $300 minimum fine for the 9th alarm (maximum fine is $500).  These fines are relatively low compared to fines in the area where I live;  however, the 10th alarm in L…

Coal mine

I have always been drawn to the strange and unusual, especially when it involves venturing off the highway onto back roads with the promise of an adventure.  On the way back from Youngest's college orientation, we found ourselves in Beckley, West Virginia at a McDonald's.  This was not our first choice, but sometimes you have to take what you can get.  While we were enjoying our fine dining experience, my eyes were drawn to this sign that was just visible from where we were sitting.  When we finished eating, I couldn't leave without a photo.  To my astonishment, Hubster asked if I wanted to visit the exhibit.  After I picked my jaw off the floor of the car, I responded "sure".
With no more than that arrow pointing the way, we set off into the wilds of West Virginia.  Youngest swore he heard the sound of banjos.  After several miles of twists and turns,  I was beginning to think that we had missed a sign.To my relief, a sign appeared letting us know that we had ar…

New Technology-QR Code

We are going to venture away from CryWolf® today to discuss other technology that can assist in the mission of reducing false alarms.  One emerging technology that can be harnessed by alarm units is the QR code. As an example, the QR code below includes the web address for this blog.
A QR code is a form of bar code similar to a UPC code but with the ability to hold greater amounts of data. These codes were developed by an auto manufacturer in Japan to help them track parts.  Although the company holds the patent rights, they have chosen to not exercise those rights. This allows free use of the technology.
QR codes may be formatted to hold all manner of information such as phone numbers, e-mail addresses, gps data, or a web address. QR codes can easily be added to business cards, brochures, and other printed materials.  Many Home Owner Associations in our area allow us a small space in their publications and QR codes are perfect for this space.  The codes can even be included on facebo…