Home Emergency Preparedness11/14/2019
Unexpected and possibly dangerous situations in the home require immediate response and knowing where critical items are in the home can minimize the damage. It can also provide peace of mind knowing what to do when and if the time comes.
- Gas ... The gas supply to home can be cut off by going to the meter and closing the valve which will probably require a wrench.Each individual appliance that uses gas will have its own cutoff valve.
- Electrical breaker box ...The electrical panel usually has two columns of circuit breakers that are numbered by the manufacturer.The numbers won't identify where they go and should be labeled.This is a good project for two people with cell phones where one will label the panel after turning off a breaker and having the other person verify what it turned off.There is also a larger main breaker that may be at the top of the panel that will disconnect power to the entire circuit breaker panel.
- Main water shutoff ... In an emergency such as a broken pipe or anything when water is rapidly flowing, you'll want to shut off the main water supply to the home.There may be a valve that goes into the house but not all homes have one.You may need to go to the water meter and turn it off there.Most water meters require a key to get into them which can usually be purchased from a hardware store.It is important to have one convenient located to use in an emergency.Getting into the meter is only one part, you'll also need a tool, like a wrench to turn the valve.Some tools have the key on one end and the wrench on the other.It would be good to practice doing this before you need to do it.
- Shutoff valves - Toilets, sinks and washing machines typically have a separate shutoff valve for the supply line to feeds water to the device.Overtime, because they are not used, they can become frozen and will not operate.It is good to close and open them periodically to see if they work and to keep them operational.
- Fire extinguishers ... This safety device can be a key component in containing a fire that could cause considerable damage.It is estimated that 60% of fires are unnotified because they were not severe, and we handled with a fire extinguisher.