Secure Your Gas Water Heater

A gas water heater is tall and narrow. During an earthquake (or flood), it might rock back and forth, and this could cause it to tip over, breaking the gas line, resulting in an explosion and fire. Even if it doesn't fall over, the gas line might rupture, allowing gas to leak out, which could then ignite.

photo of person securing water heaterSecuring your gas water heater to the wall only takes about 20 minutes, and will help protect your home. photo of secured water heaterThe supplies are very inexpensive.

photo of secured water heaterPlumber's tape can be used as strapping. photo of materials used for securing water heaterA wider metal strap can also be used.

The materials you need are simple:

  1. metal strapping tape to encircle the gas water heater;
  2. ½" electrical conduit tube that you flatten at both ends using a hammer;
  3. 5/16" x 3" lag bolts with washers to connect the conduit to studs in your wall;
  4. and a nut and bolt to tie the metal strapping together.

photo of Auntie Lita admiring secured water heater

After any felt earthquake, even if your gas water heater looks like it survived the quake undamaged, check the gas line leading up to it (and check gas lines to your other appliances, as well)—if you can smell leaking gas, turn off the propane at it source, and notify the gas company.

Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense Active Alerts

Visit the Civil Defense website for up-to-date information.