Device Helps Prevent Fire in Earthquake

Device Helps Prevent Fire in Earthquake

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(Springdale-AP) -- It's a metal dish with a ball. But it'll wage a big battle against an earthquake.

The simple device being used in Zion National Park is called a seismic valve.

It's designed to block the release of natural gas or propane which can cause explosions or fires in an earthquake.

The valve is mounted on a building and during an earthquake the ball loses mass, and blocks off the gas line and the flow of gas.

The park got a 10 thousand dollar grant to purchase the shut-off valves.

42 of them have been installed on historic buildings in the park along with the park's bus terminal, since the shuttle buses run on propane.

The valves cost less than 100 dollars each.

And some call the seismic valve 'an insurance policy worth every penny'.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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