Many don't know how to shut off water, gas

July 5, 2012 at 11:47 PM

SEATTLE, July 5 (UPI) -- Young U.S. adults may know how to tweet, connect a wireless router or program a DVR, but many don't know how to shut off water or gas in the home, a poll found.

Jon Osterberg, spokesman for PEMCO Insurance, based in Seattle -- a provider of auto, home, boat and umbrella insurance to residents in the Northwest -- said the poll found 47 percent of respondents in Washington state and Oregon age 35 and under said they knew where they can turn off their home's main gas line in an emergency.

Fifty percent said they knew where to locate a water shut-off valve, but 91 percent can find their electrical panel, the survey said.

"While you may rarely need to access your gas or water shut-offs or even your electrical panel, it's important for people of all ages to know where they are and what to do in an emergency," Osterberg said in a statement. "It's a matter of personal safety and protecting your home."

The poll found older generations were more likely than their younger counterparts to know where to find household electrical panels, water valves and gas lines.

Seventy-one percent of drivers age 35 in Washington and Oregon said they knew where to find their home's water shut-off valve and about 61 percent said they could find the valve that controls the natural gas.

The poll by FBK Research interviewed 600 people in Washington and 402 in Oregon last November. The margin of error was 4.1 percentage points in Washington and 5 percentage points in Oregon.

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