No matter how careful you are, sooner or later you are probably going to experience some kind of home emergency. This emergency may happen in a rental home or at a friend’s house. Or, you didn’t pay attention to various systems in your house and now they’re all a powder keg. The thing is, once an accident happens, beating yourself up for not having anticipated it sooner won’t be much help.
In this article, we’ll list some common home emergencies and offer some advice on how to deal with them. As you will see, some of these aren’t as clear-cut as obvious as others, so pay close attention.
Tackling a Burst Pipe is Easier than You Think.
Every once in a while, a major water pipe in your home will start leaking or burst altogether. Of course, you may try patching it up for the time being, but if this doesn’t work – do this:
Every home has a valve that controls the flow of the water from the city water supply to your house. In case you can tackle a burst pipe, for example, locate this valve and twist it shut. This will stop the water gushing out immediately and give you the time you need to safely fix the problem. Of course, the same procedure applies to other plumbing-related issues. Leaking fixtures such as faucets, or clogged or blocked drains are easier to fix with the water supply temporarily shut.
Understand the Dos And Don’ts of Extinguishing a Grease-Fueled Fire.
When it comes to cooking, everything’s cool and dandy until a grease fire breaks out. The thing is, this is not just a regular house fire you can put out with a bucket of water. Under no circumstances should you attempt to put out a grease fire with water. What will happen is that the water will immediately sink to the bottom of the cooking vessel. Then, it will also almost instantly turn into steam. Next, instead of extinguishing the fire, the water will propel the grease (that’s on fire) on top of it everywhere. This is why there is a serious risk of injury if you’re standing near the fire and doing this. Instead of water, always use baking soda to put out a grease-fueled fire. Alternatively, you can also simply take a metal lid that fits the cooking vessel and cover it. (Unless the flames and the heat are so intense you can’t do this safely.) This way, you will kill the oxygen supply to the burning grease, which will extinguish the fire.
Stopping an Overflowing Toilet of Doom.
Toilets typically overflow for two main reasons:
There’s some sort of object blocking the drainage.
The water tank won’t stop running due to a mechanical problem.
Depending on what causes the overflow, the first thing to do is to turn off the water supply. This will immediately take care of the second problem. (If this, indeed, is the problem.) Then, mop up any water that might have escaped the toilet bowl and is not on the floor. Once you’ve done that, you can gear up and tackle the clogged part of the toilet. (If this is what’s causing the overflow.) To do this, you may want to use a plumber’s auger, or a simple plunger.
Navigating a Blackout Situation.
If there’s suddenly no electricity in your home, again, there are two most common reasons behind it. It’s either the circuit in your home that’s acting up or the power plant that supplies you. So, when the darkness sets in, take out your phone or flashlight to orient yourself. Then, look outside your window to check if your neighbors have the lights off, too. (If this is the case, then it’s likely the problem with the power plant supply.) If their lights are still on, this means the problem is within your home electrical system. To check where the break is, check all the circuit breakers on the panel in your home. Also, you may want to remove the easily-spoilable food from the fridges and freezers. If you can, put some ice on it, or keep them outside if the weather allows it.
If you experience any of the aforementioned problems, knowing the first crucial steps to resolving them is a must. The better you are prepared for a home emergency, the easier you will resolve it if it happens.
Mia Ackerson is a Melbourne-based writer. Loves writing about home decorations and home improvements. She’s also interested in reading books, movies, music, baking, and gardening. You can follow her on Twitter.