Think safety and efficiency when it comes to owning or living in a home. Hopefully as a homeowner you never have any serious emergencies, but to be on the safe side, it’s good to know where the main utility controls are at, as well as other important components, and how to use them. This way you will be prepared and informed to take the proper actions if need be?
When leaving a home unattended for a few days or more, you also want to take proper safety steps and think efficiently. A few examples beyond the typical thermostat adjustments:
- Turn off the main water valve or individual valves if supply water is not needed.
- Turn down the hot water heater temperature controls.
House Safety Checklist Guide:
- Locate your main gas line located coming into the home and individual shut-off valves at each gas appliance (shown). Gas valves are ball type valves (shown). (i) In-line to gas line = OPEN (ii) 90° to gas line = CLOSED
- Locate your main water line (shown) coming into the home and how to shut it off. The valve used will most likely be a ball valve (i) In-line = OPEN (ii) 90° = CLOSED
- Locate and make sure every faucet, toilet , refrigerator water line, and laundry machine has exposed individual shut-off valves (shown), and that they work.
- Locate the main electrical panel and learn how do you check for blown fuses or tripped breakers? (i) Adding numbers on the door panel sticker and next to each breaker or fuse in the box allows quicker and easier cross-reference.
- Locate sump pump (if applicable).
- Locate sewage sump pump.
- Locate attic access (if applicable).
- Locate crawl space access (if applicable).
- Locate and inspect all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
- Escape exits, including basement window well. (if applicable)
- Understand the full capabilities of a home alarm and upgrades. (if applicable)
CAUTION: If uncomfortable locating and understanding listed areas, contact a licensed professional for guidance. You can also contact your utility companies for information.