Preparing for the Fall: Home Emergency Tips

preparing-for-the-fallWith school back in session, it’s the perfect time to recheck your home’s emergency plan. Included in your plan, should be a maintenance list with information related to major appliances and household systems (e.g. shut-off valves, on/off switches, and locations of devices.)

You may have to hire someone to locate, repair or maintain some of these valves and switches. Be sure to have all controls and switches marked or tagged to identify each one and the last time they were serviced.

It is also important to orientate each household member with the locations, purpose and precautions noted here and in your own emergency plan.


Key Controls

Main electrical disconnect

Located at the main fuse box or breaker panel. Usually there is one main switch or fuse box, but on older systems there can be more than one.

Main water valve
This valve turns off all the water in your home. If the valve is old, rusty, or worn have a plumber check it. If you use municipal water the valve will be in the basement on the street side of the house near the water meter. If you have a well the valve is near the pressure tank. To disable the system turn off the valve and electrical switch.

Hot water shut-off
Located on top of the cold water inlet at the top of the water heater. It cuts off the cold water supply to the water heater.

Natural gas main
Located near the gas meter that is located either outside or inside your home. You may need a wrench for this valve. If the valve is parallel to the pipe it is on. To turn it off turn it a quarter of the way to be perpendicular with the pipe.

Local gas valves
These are located on every gas operated appliance. You can close this with a quarter turn to the perpendicular position as well.

Furnace and air conditioning main switch
This is usually on the furnace. Modern ones resemble a light switch. It will turn the central heating and cooling system on or off.

Air conditioning disconnect
This switch is 240-volts and is located next to the exterior part of the air conditioner.

Emergency phone numbers
Keep a list of phone numbers that will be paramount in the event of an emergency. (e.g plumber, insurance)

Fire extinguishers
Place them in the kitchen, garage and basement ares and make sure that everyone is aware of how to use them. Be sure to review the labels for expiration dates.

Emergency release for garage door
Do you know where the key is? To pull the cable disconnect from exterior. To release the garage door opener in case of a power outage you have to open a special lock and remove the cable.Pulling the cable out through the opening will release the manual garage opener. Make sure the door is down before testing the release.

Emergency toolbox
Keep basic tools such a flashlight, screwdrivers, wrench etc. in case of emergencies. The flashlight should be rechargeable and always mounted on the charger.

Power Loss
Flooding is common during a power outage due to the sump pump no longer have electricity running through.

Do you have a question regarding your existing or future home?
Give us a call today to schedule your home inspection.