CONGRATULATIONS! You are a Home Owner!
Being a home owner is one of life’s greatest pleasures. But even if you live in an apartment it is good to know this information. As a Home Owner or tenant, there are some things that you may overlook but really need to know about your home.
We have put together a list of 10 critical things that will help keep you safe in an emergency or prevent major damage to your home that can be very costly.
Electric Panel – Knowing the whereabouts and having some knowledge of what you are looking at when you open it will be very helpful if a circuit goes out or there are sparks coming from a light fixture or outlet and you need to kill the power. Some older homes still have fuses protecting the electric supply, but most homes today have circuit breakers. Both are designed to stop the power in case of an overload. While a fuse will need to be replaced if it blows, generally a circuit breaker just needs to be reset by turning it off and then back on. If the issue that caused the problem trips it out again, turn it off and call a professional to repair the problem. For more information on locating and understanding your Electric Panel, Click Here!
Main Water Shut Off – The water main will shut the water off to your entire home. Knowing where the shut off is and how to operate it – before disaster strikes – can save a lot of money and headaches by minimizing damage to your home in case a water pipe breaks or an appliance malfunctions. Turning off your water main when you leave your home for an extended period of time could keep your home from becoming flooded while you are gone. For guidance on locating and operating your Water Main Shut Off, Click Here!
Gas Shut Off – Over 57% of the homes in the US use gas for heating and cooking. If you use Natural Gas or Propane (LP) for any appliance in your home, knowing how to shut it off in an emergency could save your life and your home. People take for granted that their appliances work just fine, until one day something goes wrong. Everyone needs to know how to cut off the gas supply. For help finding and understanding your Gas Main Shut Off, Click Here!
Filters – There can be many kinds of filters in your home. Water and Air are the most common and these need to be changed regularly to keep things working properly and to make your living environment more pleasant. Whether your water comes from a well or from the city it is a good plan to filter it as it comes into your home. A main filter will help take out sediment and minerals that are in the water. Here is a guide to helping you locate and change these filters when needed, Click Here!
If you have a furnace or Air Conditioner they will have air filters that collect dust, pollen and other stuff floating in the air to keep it out of the equipment and the air that you breathe. Here is a guide to helping you locate and change these filters when needed, Click Here!
Attic Access – Knowing where there is access to your attic is important, even if you decide you do not want to use it for storage. Being able to access the attic if you see water stains on your ceiling or hear noises coming from up above is essential. Even if you call someone else to investigate, you will need to show them the way.
Escape Routes – Knowing the best way to get out of your home in an emergency before it happens could save your life. This is something that is very easy to overlook when you are excited about moving into your new home but is a very critical area to plan out. As they say on the airplane, “the nearest exit may be behind you!” A good exercise is to blindfold yourself and crawl out of your home as being blinded is disorienting but often common in a power outage or a fire.
Water Heater – You turn on the faucet and you get hot water, but do you know where it comes from? Knowing where your water heater is, and some basic knowledge of how it works, can prevent disaster before it happens. A water heater can break and flood your home and even explode if not properly maintained. For great tips on the operation and maintenance of your water heater, Click Here!
Garage Door Opener – If your garage door has an overhead garage door opener, as most do these days, it will not operate when there is a power failure. To prevent someone from being locked inside, all modern openers are required to have a manual release to open the door in this situation. Normally it is a cable that hangs down from the mechanism that attaches the door arm to the track. Pull on this cable handle to release the arm, allowing the door to be lifted open.
Fire Extinguisher – Having a fire extinguisher in a few places in your home could save you from a complete disaster. Check to see if there are any in your home! If not, go and purchase a few, depending on the size of your home. Unfortunately, there are more homes without them than there should be. After finding or acquiring them, you need to understand where to store them and how to operate them. For are a great guide on using your Fire Extinguisher! Click Here!
Water Drainage – Understanding how water drains around your home when it rains is really something you need to know. Water can seep into your home and cause extensive damage if it does not drain away properly. Even if you don’t see water in your home, poor drainage can be causing issues of rotting wood, cracking foundations and creating an environment for mold to grow. There are 2 major things to look for as far as drainage around your home is concerned. The first is that the soil around your home is pitched away from the foundation at least 1 inch per foot and at a minimum of 6 feet away from the house. The second item is that the downspouts from your gutters also end up at least 6 feet from the foundation.
We hope you enjoyed this article and that we have helped you make your home a better and safer place. Click on the subscribe button on the top of the page to be kept informed of more great tips.