How to Handle 5 Home Emergency Situations

Seller Tips

How to Handle 5 Home Emergency Situations

As a homeowner, it’s fun to enjoy all the great things about your home—a place to relax, entertain or spend quality time with family and friends. 

But what about when something goes wrong? 

Do you and everyone who lives in your home know what needs to be done in case of a home emergency or other urgent situation?

Here are 5 musts that every homeowner and person living in the home should know about right now. That way, when disaster strikes, you’re all prepared to act.

1. Locate the water main valve

If a pipe bursts or a washing machine starts to leak, you don’t want to waste time finding the main shut-off valve. The main valve can turn off ALL the water in your home. Most homes will have this valve in the basement on the “street side” near the water meter. It can be kind of hidden, so make a sign or paint a bright color around it, so it’s noticeable to others, and tells them which way is OFF!

If you have a well, you will need to know where the central breaker panel is and which circuit breaker turns off the well pump. (see below for more information about the main electrical panel)

Also, many updated homes have individual shut-off valves for toilets, under kitchen and vanity sinks, and for the hot/cold taps behind washers. Make sure everyone knows where these are located.

The easiest way to remember which direction tightens and which one loosens is the old axiom, Righty-Tighty, and Lefty-Loosey. This means that turning most threaded things right, or clockwise, tightens them (Righty-Tighty), and turning them to the left, or counterclockwise, loosens them (Lefty-Loosey).

You can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars from water damage the sooner you shut off these valves.

2. Operate the main electrical panel

If your appliances suddenly stop working, do you know what happened and what needs to be done?

You’ve probably tripped your circuit breaker by overloading it with too much use (usually appliances, even a hair dryer or iron) going all at once. That’s why you need to know where your home’s central breaker panel is located to turn the power back on.

The panel should have each individual breaker labeled for each room or appliance so you can easily find the correct one. Learn how to turn off and turn on circuit breakers when you’ve tripped one or need to turn off electricity for a certain appliance. Remember to always contact a professional for any electrical work that you are unsure about!

3. Know how to use fire extinguishers

Imagine this scenario — your flaming dessert sets ablaze your kitchen curtains instead of the Bananas Foster! You quickly locate the nearest fire extinguisher but are too flustered to figure out how to use it. That’s why you and everyone living in the home should be familiar with how to operate a home fire extinguisher. An extinguisher should be easily located in the kitchen, basement, and garage of your home.  Yes, you should have several home fire extinguishers! These are available at any local home improvement store like Lowes, Home Depot, and Menards.

4. Have an escape plan

No one ever thinks a fire will happen in their home, but you want to play it safe and have a solid plan if one does happen. If you live in a multi-condo unit, know where the emergency exits are located on your floor and any other vital information the association recommends. For a house, make sure everyone knows the quickest and safest way out. Practice this plan with everyone living in the home and pick a specific spot where you can meet outside.

5. Locate the emergency toolbox and contact phone numbers

Most of Kent County has been hit with power outages during a snowstorm or windstorm at some point over the years. That’s why it’s important to have an “emergency toolbox” in a certain location that all family members can access. Fill it with flashlights, batteries, candles, and other necessary items. Know how to use a gasoline generator before a storm strikes.

Also, have a handy list printed for your home so anyone can easily contact the fire department, ambulance, police, plumber, electrician, and power company for an emergency situation. Consumers Energy has an outage map you can check to see if there is an outage in your area and to report an outage on your cell phone.

These are the top 5 things every homeowner and everyone living in your home should know about. It’s important to know how you’d handle these and other emergencies before they happen. Hope this information is helpful to you so you can start planning today! 

And, as always, reach out to us if you have any questions at all!

Hi, there!

We're April and Jean, we help first-time sellers in the Northeast Grand Rapids area. Our number one focus is you! We are here to guide you through the process of selling your first home and buying your next. That way you can buy and sell with confidence.  

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Key Realty
2905 Wilson Avenue SW
Suite 105
Grandville, MI 49418

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Hi, there!

We're April and Jean, we help first-time sellers in the Northeast Grand Rapids area.
Our number one focus is you! We are here to guide you through the process of selling your first home and buying your next. That way you can buy and sell with confidence. 

schedule your
free consultation


Our Listings


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