Home Emergency: Tips and Tricks

Posted on January 7th, 2016

Ever get frustrated with simple home problems? Toilets getting clogged? Trying to know which fuse blew or what breaker to flip? Here are some tricks to help prevent those little situations from turning south fast.

Using a Fire Extinguisher

We all have been around fire extinguishers all our lives, but most of us have never touched one- let alone used one. Knowing how to use a fire extinguisher can be the difference between a house fire and a stove top fire. There is a simple key to the extinguisher. PASS: 1) Pull the pin, 2) Aim at the BASE of the fire, 3) Squeeze the trigger and 4) Sweep from side-to-side. Do not walk away after using the extinguisher, assuming the fire is out. Wait close by and make sure the fire does not rekindle itself. Fire extinguishers are made for small fires and are not to be used to fight off a fire. If the fire is in a contained space such as a wastebasket, stove, towel, etc, you can use the fire extinguisher to put out the fire from a safe distance with an escape route available if the fire were to grow. DO NOT use water, flour, or a towel on a grease fire. If you have a grease fire, you can put it out by placing the lid on if it is in a pot, use a chemical fire extinguisher, or throw baking powder on it. Baking powder is normally the best and most available option for grease fires.

Black Out

Avoid getting stuck in the dark if a fuse blows or if a breaker trips. Having your electrical box labelled can avoid confusion and save time. If you label your electrical box, you will be able to grab a flashlight and simply glance in the box, seeing right where the switch is for the part of the house that went out.  You will also be able to turn off all your power quickly by knowing exactly where the main switch is in the electrical box. When you do label it, it is always wise to have a friend help you out. They will help make things go faster and be able to call for help if something goes wrong.

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Stop the Flood

Toilets flood all the time. It can be caused by your child flushing their favorite toy or by too much waste being in the toilet. It can be one of the most disgusting tasks a home owner may ever deal with. Luckily, it is a pretty easy fix most of the time. First, you need to stop the water from dumping into the bowl. You need to remove the tanks lid and identify the (most of the time) black, floating balloon. If you lift the balloon, it’ll close the valve and stop the water. Now, you can deal with plunging the blockage and hopefully clear the piping. If a plunger does not seem to work, a bowl of hot water will help break down the material and make it easier to plunge.

Home emergencies hardly start big. They normally start from unseen problems like a leaking pipe, a small kitchen fire, or crossed wires. Knowing how to stop the small incidents could save your home from all the bigger ones.