You’re making dinner – a stir-fry with fresh veggies – when a strange odour hits your nose. It’s faint at first but unmistakable – the sharp scent of gas. Your heart jumps. 

Natural gas is a convenient source of energy for 70 per cent of Australian households, powering between 5/6 and 8 of our gas appliances, from heaters and hot water systems to stoves and clothes dryers. But while it provides warmth, cooking convenience, and efficient heating, natural gas leaks can be dangerous.

Knowing how to shut off the gas supply in an emergency is crucial. The gas meter, usually located near the exterior wall of your house, has a readily accessible shut-off valve – a lever typically painted yellow – that can be turned to a right angle with a quarter turn to stop the gas flow. But before you rush outside, there are a few crucial gas safety steps to take first.

Know Your Gas Meter: Safety First in Your Home


The gas meter in most Australian homes is your first line of defence for a safe and efficient gas supply. It’s typically located outside near the front fence or curb, housed in a metal box. This box protects the meter itself, which can have dials with pointers or a digital display showing your current gas usage.

The gas meter also features a crucial safety element – the gas shut-off valve. This valve, usually a quarter-turn handle, allows you to quickly stop the flow of gas to your house in an emergency, like a suspected gas leak.

Here’s how to prioritise safety in your home’s gas system:

  1. Identify the Location: Knowing your meter’s location is vital. Take a moment to locate it on your property.
  2. Gas Leak Awareness: Natural gas is odourless, but for safety reasons, gas companies add a distinctive smell similar to rotten eggs. If you ever smell gas in your house:
    • Immediately evacuate everyone from the building and open windows to ventilate the area.
    • Do not turn on light switches or flick electrical switches – sparks can ignite a gas leak, leading to fires or explosions.
    • Locate your gas meter and use the shut-off valve to stop the gas supply by turning the handle a quarter turn.
    • From a safe distance outside, contact your gas company or a licensed gas fitter immediately.
  3. Maintenance and Safety Checks: Regularly check your gas appliances (stoves, heaters, hot water systems) for leaks. Look for any hissing sounds, discolouration around pipes, or a strong gas odour. If you suspect a leak, follow the steps above for gas leak emergencies.

Remember, even a small gas leak can be dangerous. By familiarising yourself with your gas meter’s location and the shut-off valve, you can ensure your home’s gas system functions safely and efficiently. For further information on gas safety or meter maintenance, refer to your gas appliance manufacturer’s instructions or contact your local gas company.

Gas Safety First: Don't Take Chances

Gas leaks pose a serious threat. If you suspect a gas leak (smell of gas) in your house, prioritise safety above all else. Evacuate everyone immediately and head outdoors for fresh air. Open all windows and doors to ventilate the house, creating a cross-flow of air to clear any lingering gas.

Important: Do not turn on any lights or electrical switches. A spark from a switch could ignite the gas, leading to a fire or explosion. Resist the urge to investigate the leak yourself.

Locate your gas meter, usually near the front of your house or in the garage. It will have a clearly marked gas shut-off valve. This valve controls the gas supply to your entire property. Using a quarter turn (1/4 – ¾ turn), turn the valve handle to the off position (usually perpendicular to the pipe). This will stop the flow of gas to your house.

Do not attempt any further repairs or maintenance. Contact your gas company immediately. They will send a qualified technician to assess the situation and repair the leak. For complex gas system issues, consider contacting a licensed gas fitter for a professional inspection.

Remember, even a small gas leak can be dangerous. Following these safety precautions, you can protect yourself, your family, and your property from fires and explosions. Make gas safety a priority – it’s a matter of life and death.

Note: Always refer to your gas appliances’ manufacturer’s instructions for specific shut-off procedures for pilot lights and individual appliances.

Turning Off the Gas Shutoff Valve: A Crucial Step for Gas Safety


Knowing how to turn off your home’sgas shut-off valve is essential for gas safety. A gas leak can lead to explosions and fires, so acting quickly is critical in an emergency. While it’s best to call a licensed plumber for serious gas leaks, understanding how to isolate the gas supply yourself can be a lifesaver.

The first step is locating the gas shut-off valve. It’s usually found near the gas meter, typically outside in the metre area close to your house or in the garage 1/3–5 metres from the house wall. Some houses might have an additional valve located after the meter, closer to the building. Familiarise yourself with its location in advance, not during an emergency.

The gas shut off valve will have a handle or lever. You’ll need an adjustable wrench, ideally a gas key, to operate it. Using the wrong size wrench can damage the valve, so ensure a proper fit. To turn off the gas, simply turn the handle a quarter turn in either direction. When the handle is perpendicular to the gas line (pipe), the gas flow is shut off.

Important:Never attempt to fix a gas leak yourself. Shut off the gas using the gas shut-off valve and evacuate the area immediately. Turn off any light switches and appliances that could ignite sparks. Once you’re safe, call your gas supplier on the emergency line or 000 for fire emergencies. They’ll be able to safely locate and repair the leak, restoring your gas supply once it’s safe.

By following these steps and prioritising gas safety, you can help prevent a gas leak from becoming dangerous. Remember, even a small gas leak can lead to a serious explosion, so acting swiftly and contacting a professional is crucial.

Leave the Gas Off and Call for Help


A gas leak is a serious emergency. If you suspect a problem with your gas appliances or gas system – a rotten egg smell, hissing sounds, or discoloured flames in your heaters – turn off the gas supply immediately at the meter. Leaving the gas off is crucial – don’t attempt to turn it back on yourself.

Next, call a licensed gas fitter right away. Trying to fix a gas leak yourself is dangerous. A qualified professional can diagnose the problem at the source (between the meter and the appliances) and restore safe and reliable gas service to your home.

Peace of Mind with Gas Safety at Home

Natural gas is a convenient and efficient power source for many Australian households, but it’s crucial to remember it requires responsible use. Here are some key tips to keep your home safe and ensure your gas system functions properly:

  • Be Alert for Leaks: Regularly inspect your gas appliances and connections for leaks. Look for any hissing sounds or the telltale smell of rotten eggs, which indicates a gas leak. If you suspect a leak, turn off the gas supply valve at the appliance immediately. Don’t attempt to fix it yourself – contact a licensed gas fitter to address the issue.
  • Scheduled Maintenance is Key: For optimal performance and safety, schedule routine maintenance for your gas appliances, like heaters and hot water systems, by a licensed professional. Regular check-ups can identify potential problems early on, preventing future emergencies and costly repairs.
  • Ventilation is Vital: Always ensure proper ventilation when using gas appliances. Open windows slightly to allow fresh air to circulate and prevent the build-up of carbon monoxide, a colourless and odourless gas that can be deadly.
  • Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Install carbon monoxide detectors in your home, particularly near bedrooms. These life-saving devices will alert you if dangerous levels of CO are present, giving you time to evacuate and call emergency services.

By following these simple gas safety tips, you can enjoy the benefits of gas appliances with peace of mind. Remember, a properly maintained gas system with functioning detectors empowers you to take control of your home’s environment and prioritise your own safety and that of your loved ones.

Breathe Easy With Trusted Gas Safety Solutions

Don’t let a gas leak become a headline. Gas safety is no small matter. Undetected leaks can lead to health risks and property damage.

The Brisbane Plumbers offer expert gas fitting and leak detection services. Our licensed technicians can ensure your home or business is up to code and free from hidden dangers.

Don’t wait for a problem to arise. Contact The Brisbane Plumbers today for a gas safety inspection or to address any gas-related concerns. We’re here to keep your peace of mind – and your home – safe.