Friday, April 2, 2010

Know Your home

While making dinner the other day, half of our house lost power. All the lights in the the guest bedrooms, office, den and garage went out. But strangeley the lights in the kitchen, master, and living room still worked fine. After tracing the electricity back to the breaker panel, I found that it was not the wiring in the house but one of the power companies leads coming in that failed. I called PSE, and they came out within a few hours to restored power. It turns out there was a problem with one of the underground supply lines. This got me thinking about all the important things people should know about their home:

Be Able to Locate Your Utility Panels
Many people don't know where their electrical panel is, let alone how to shut off the water or gas in an emergency. Take a few moments to locate these items. Also consider buying a gas shut off wrench and keeping accessible.

Have it when you need it
Everyone knows how frustrating it can be to find a working flash light in the dark, but what about a fire extinguisher? If your house caught on fire, do you even have one to grab? Having a fire extinguisher can be the difference between a small kitchen fire and losing your home. At a cost of $15-$30 it is worth it. Most homeowner insurance companies will even give a discount for having one.

Lighting Pilots
Learn how to light the pilot on your water heater, fire place, or other applicable appliances. If the gas is ever shut off temporarily, you don't want to rely on a technician for warmth.

Important Documents
If you had to evacuate your home, how long would it take to gather all your important documents. Consider keeping your birth/marriage certificates, car pink slips, house title, social security card, emergency credit card, tax info, and any other important documents in a safe place that can be accessed quickly.

By taking a few moments to know your home, and organize the things inside it, you could save yourself some serious headaches in the future.

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