It’s safe to say that we all want our home to be the safest place in our lives, and it can be stressful when you face a home emergency that you’ve never encountered before.
Luckily, the main home emergencies are actually pretty common, so it’s unlikely that you’ll ever face a problem that nobody has ever had to deal with before. While these 3 major home emergencies have simple enough solutions, the main thing to remember is to remain calm in all of them.
While we certainly hope you’ll never have to call upon any of the knowledge in this post, it’s always wise to equip yourself just in case the worst happens!
The 3 most common home emergencies, and how to deal with them
#1 – Burst Pipe
There’s nothing to give us a sense of panic more than a burst pipe – there’s water slowly flowing into your house and flooding your floor. What can you do?
Well, first of all, DON’T panic. Chances are that the water is flooding in from a pipe that has burst or cracked, and it’s fairly easy to put a quick stop to it. First, identify your main water valve (which is typically downstairs in your basement or under the sink if you live in an apartment) and turn it off.
Then, once the water has stopped, call a plumber as soon as possible. In addition to replacing the pipes, they will almost definitely identify what the cause of the burst pipe was, and tell you what needs to be done to prevent it from happening again. For example, if it was frozen water that burst the pipe, they will probably recommend that you install better insulation.
#2 – Being Locked Out
Being locked out is super inconvenient, especially if you’ve been at work all day or are in a rush for something. It’s easy to feel helpless, but the good news is that the solution is relatively easy – but just requires a bit of waiting (and cost).
If possible, call upon your neighbour or pop into a nearby café to try and relax while the replacement keys make their way to you. If you need a locksmith when locked out, look for one as close as possible but ring at least 2 or 3 to make sure you aren’t getting a bad deal. Once you’ve found the right one, simply give them your address, and sit back and (try to) relax.
If it’s a restricted security lock you need to get into, then have some photo ID ready which shows your address, as this will be needed before the locksmith can give you access.
#3 – Gas Leak
Gas leaks are scary and for good reason – they can be very serious issues. Interestingly, natural gas that is used on gas ovens doesn’t naturally smell bad. It’s the gas distributors who add an unpleasant smell so it can be noticed if there’s a problem. This is crucial because fire alarms won’t pick up a gas leak, so it has to be humans that detect it.
If you think that there is an unusual level of gas in the air (that you can’t switch off with the oven), you should leave the building immediately and call emergency services. Why? Gas is extremely flammable and can cause explosions if it’s exposed to an open flame or even electronics. (That includes switches, ceiling lights and even your phone.) In this emergency, the best thing to do is to leave the area and organise professional help, pronto.