1.) Know Where The Main Water Shutoff Valve Is
The location of your main water shutoff valve is usually one of those things that you don’t think about until you need it. But anyone who has encountered the unfortunate reality of a flooded bathtub or water pipe leak knows the importance of being able to promptly locate your main water shutoff valve. Being able to quickly locate and turn off your valve can save thousands of dollars of water damage. Home water systems have two different shutoff valves: main valves (that control the entire flow) and individual valves for specific appliances (like the shower or dishwasher.) Make sure you know where both of these are and how to quickly turn them off in case of an emergency.
2.) Know Where The Main Gas Shutoff Valve Is
Similar to the water shutoff valve, it’s important to know where the gas shutoff valve is in case something springs a leak or in case you want to fix a gas appliance. If you have propane gas, you can find the valve on the tank. However, if there is an emergency, it is not always safe to turn off the valves. When gas reaches a certain concentration, even a small spark or flame can cause a fire or explosion. If you know discover a leak and know how long it’s been leaking, it’s probably safe to turn the valve off. But if you’re unsure, you should evacuate your family from your home and call the gas company or fire department. (Make sure to call from a cell phone instead of a landline since that can cause sparks that would further the potential explosion.) It’s better to be safe than sorry! Be sure to check your gas (and water) valves regularly for leaks, as finding and repairing them early can save you lots of cash. Be sure to check out other helpful tips for maintaining your home.
3.) Know How to Replace Air Filters
It’s recommended that you change your air filters every 2-4 weeks, so pay attention to when you need to replace them. Clean air filters filter out 90% of dust and allergens from your house, creating a safer and healthier living environment. It’s especially important to change your filters if your children have allergies, or if you have pets that shed frequently. I enroll in an online subscription service that lets me pick the size and desired air quality of filters that are then shipped to my door every month. This is a simple way to make sure that they are changed at the correct intervals.
4.) Know That The Smoke Alarms Work
Many people don’t pay attention to whether or not their smoke alarms are working, but they could make the difference between life-and-death if your house catches on fire. Test your smoke alarms regularly to make sure that they are working. Replace the batteries if needed. If you have a carbon monoxide detector in your house, you should also test this. It’s also a good idea to keep dry chemical extinguishers or fire extinguisher equipment on hand, should a fire ever break out in your house. (This is especially beneficial in the kitchen and other areas where fires are more likely to occur.)
Phil Brown is a handyman.