During storms, fires, earthquakes, and other types of emergencies, it is a good idea to shut off all your utilities. This can prevent further damage to your home and injuries to your family or other people. Learning how to power down your utilities before an emergency hits can help you better prepare for unfortunate incidents in the future. Chula Vista home insurance providers suggest following these steps to shut off your utilities and protect your family and home during an emergency.
Find Your Shutoff Valves Before Disaster Strikes
When facing an emergency, you do not want to waste valuable time wandering around your property to look for shutoff valves and service entrances. Find the circuit breaker, water main shut-off valve, and natural gas shut-off valve. Make sure these areas are easily accessible, and consider leaving a wrench by valves that require tools to close.
Learn How to Shut Off Water
You may need to shut down your water quickly if a pipe breaks to prevent excessive home flooding. FEMA also recommends that people shut off their water following natural disasters to prevent contamination from polluted water lines outside the home. The main shutoff valve for the water main is typically outside the house and covered by a lid, though this is not always the case. To turn it off, twist the valve clockwise until it is immovable.
Figure Out How to Shut Down Electricity
Electricity is one of the most dangerous utilities in a disaster since it can cause house fires or electrocutions. Fortunately, it is also the easiest to shut off. All you need to do is open your circuit box and flip the main breaker found near the top of the panel. If you have time, flip each individual circuit before flipping the main one, but this is not necessary if you are in a crisis.
Know How to Turn Off Natural Gas
Turning off natural gas is advisable if you smell it, hear it leaking, have a fire, or have damage to your home. The shutoff valve will be situated next to the gas meter, and it will likely require using a crescent wrench to turn off. To close the gas, use the tool to turn the valve 90 degrees to the left or right to make it run crosswise to the pipe.
Make Sure It Is Safe to Turn Off Utilities
Powering down your utilities is important, but make sure it is safe before proceeding. For example, it is not wise to go into a flooded room to turn off electricity because you could be electrocuted. Always proceed with caution and examine your surroundings before shutting off utilities. If the situation seems unsafe, exit your home and wait for the authorities to arrive.
Make sure you have adequate homeowners insurance in the event a disaster occurs at your home. American Tri-Star is a leading provider of home insurance as well as auto, health, RV, and commercial insurance in Chula Vista. Call 619-827-0522 today to receive a complimentary quote.