NIPSCO recommends the following safety tips before evacuating your home, as this may prevent gas and electric appliance controls and equipment from being damaged.
What to do in the Event of a Flood (prior to evacuating) Gas:
- Shut off the natural gas supply valve to all gas appliances (usually found on the gas line to the appliance).
- If unable to shut off gas to appliance, turn off gas at gas service shutoff valve normally located near the gas meter. You can turn your gas off at the main shut-off valve on the inlet pipe next to your gas meter. Using a wrench or other suitable tool, give the valve a quarter turn in either direction so that it is crosswise (perpendicular) to the pipe.
- Turn off electrical power to each appliance and leave it off, or
- Turn off the electric power to all appliances at the main circuit breaker NOTE: If you are unable or do not feel comfortable performing any of these steps, contact NIPSCO to turn off your electricity and/or natural gas service. Never touch the electric switch or circuit breaker with wet hands or while standing in water.
What to do if you Smell a Strong Gas Odor After or During a Flood
- Do NOT light matches, turn electrical switches on or off, or use a telephone in the building.
- If you smell gas inside your home or business, get out immediately.
- From a safe place, call NIPSCO to report the leak at our emergency number 1-800-634-3524.
- Remain outside until NIPSCO can send someone to check on the source of the odor.
What to do After a Flood
- If water levels were enough to cover the gas meter, call NIPSCO to check your meter and regulator before using your gas system. Floodwaters may have shifted your home or caused other stresses to the natural gas piping, possibly resulting in a natural gas leak.
Wet electrical wiring is extremely hazardous. The appropriate jurisdictional inspector must inspect all electrical wiring in buildings that have been partially or fully covered by floodwater before being put into service again. Any loose wires should be considered "live" and a definite hazard.
If flooding has been severe, natural gas appliances should not be used until inspected by a licensed plumber or contractor. However, the cost of restoring some appliances to a safe operating condition may exceed the cost of a new appliance.
Do not attempt to place natural gas appliances back in service yourself. A licensed plumber or contractor will check, clean, repair and pressure test all gas pipes, which may have been clogged with mud or debris.
Damage could also occur to switches, controls, thermostats, furnace heat exchangers, burner and pilot parts and rusting metals parts, to name a few. Again, a licensed plumber or contractor must perform any reconditioning or repairs to natural gas appliances.