Being a homeowner is both a privilege and a responsibility. Sure, you’re completely independent of the authority of landlords, and there’s no monthly rent payment to cover; however, any emergency that befalls the place is your direct responsibility, and it’s up to you to resolve it. Failing to do so in time will both put you in danger and end up costing you far more than it would if you were to fix this on short notice. With that in mind and without further ado, here are several most common such emergencies, as well as a tip or two on how to handle them.
1. Power Failure
The idea of power failure in the 21st century is much more severe than one might assume it to be. It’s not just your light and appliances that will be put to a stop. Your heating might also stop working, which can become a proper emergency during the colder part of the year. In this scenario, even googling for help might become a difficulty, seeing as how your Wi-Fi might not work, and you’ll have to tap into your SIM data internet. In this scenario, it’s recommended for every homeowner to already have a phone number of an emergency electrician on speed dial.
2. Broken Glass on Doors or a Window
The problem of broken glass on your home’s entry or windows is a serious issue, mainly due to the fact that it’s a major security risk. Even without it, an open door or a window causes a cutting risk, not to mention that the energy efficiency of your home might be compromised, as well. Overall, this is an issue that should be handled immediately. Start by cleaning the area and covering the opening with a temporary sealant. Some people use tape while others prefer to go for cardboard or wooden planks. Ideally, you would have a glass-fitter at your place as soon as possible.
3. A Leak or Blocked Drains
The use of water within your home is pivotal for your overall lifestyle; however, a leak or a clog can be quite severe in this regard. First of all, they can drastically increase water consumption within the place. Second, they can compromise the overall hygiene and health within your household. Third, it can compromise the contents of your home, severely damaging the place in the process. Finally, they can make even the simplest daily tasks into a major inconvenience. Also, blocked drains can be a reason for concern, and instead of waiting for the problem to escalate further, you should definitely call a professional.
4. A Gas Leak
There are a lot of homes that use gas as their primary source of heating. The more common gas ovens and stoves become, the more imminent a gas leak may be. The first thing you need to do is learn how to recognize a potential gas leak. The first thing that you will notice is a weird odor, not unlike the smell of sulfur or rotten eggs. Second, you might notice a hissing or whistling sound once you’re close enough to the gas line. Visual inspection may also be quite effective. What you’re looking for is a sign of damage on a gas pipe, dead houseplants, or a white cloud near a gas line.
The course of action in this particular scenario is quite straightforward. It would be best if you start by opening all the doors and windows. You also need to avoid turning on (or even off) any electrical appliance, seeing as how a single spark may be enough to cause a blazing inferno. Next, you should locate the gas supply and shut it off. Finally, you need to contact a licensed gas fitter to help you out. Needless to say, smoking or using any kind of fiery source indoors (while there’s a risk of a gas leak) is out of the question.
5. Damaged Roof, Gutter or Downpipe
Finally, the structural integrity of your home is quite important for both its energy-efficiency and the overall quality of life within it. For instance, your drainage system, as a whole, is there to keep your home safe, warm, and dry. If there’s any problem with the roof, gutter or downpipe, it won’t be able to perform this function properly. In order to fix the problem, you must first diagnose the issue, and then you need to figure out whether you can fix it on your own or will you need some professional help.
6. Oil Fire in the Kitchen
This sort of emergency is not the type that only homeowners may run into. There is even a chance you might face this on a picnic. A grease fire is best planned out before it actually happens. The first thing you need to remember is this sentence: "never use water on a grease fire" – it will splash the grease all around the stove and most of the time will make things way worse than you imagine. Alternatively, take a look around and find a handy metal lid from a nearby pot (a wok lid, for example, is ideal). Use it to cover the fire until it runs out of the air, suffocates and dies down. Now it is time to carefully remove the hot lid and see how bad the damage is. In case a cap is not accessible, cautiously douse the fire with baking soda. I don't mean to make you upset, but your food is probably gone, and you will need emergency food, aka fast food.
The key thing about these emergencies is that you prepare for them ahead of time. You see, these issues aren’t that rare, and a chance that you’ll go years or decades without experiencing the majority of them (or even all of them) are not that great. The sooner you respond to these emergencies, the better effect it will have on your household. The first step in solving an issue is to accept the fact that it exists. Most of the time, we do not want to accept such problems that need to be taken care of before turning into emergencies. Keep calm and keep track of what is going on with your house; take action before it makes you.