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Improving Natural Gas Safety in Earthquakes

California Seismic Safety Commission logoThis California Seismic Safety Commission report provides basic information to enable individual customers and their communities to make informed decisions on appropriate earthquake natural gas safety measures. The audience for this information includes gas customers, local governments, emergency response agencies, and others interested in assessing earthquake and other disaster preparedness alternatives and policies.

The report describes the hazards and operation characteristics of a typical gas utility system, along with a summary of recent earthquake experience in urban areas of California. Also addressed are potential types of earthquake damage to gas systems and their potential impact on building owners and surrounding communities. Several alternatives for improving the safety of gas systems are described, along with associated benefits and drawbacks.

The report was prepared by a task committee formed under the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) committee for standard ASCE 25, Earthquake Actuated Automatic Gas Shutoff Devices.  (3.2 MB)

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