Household Emergencies – What to do


There are many household emergencies that take place all the time in homes throughout the world. Knowing what to do can save us money, manpower, and most importantly, lives. Below we will talk about a few of the most common ways to deal with household emergencies.


First and foremost, if the floor is damp or the wiring has gotten wet, it is dangerous to touch the main switch box. Have the electricity turned off by the power company. When turning off electricity, most fuse boxes or main circuit breaker boxes have main levers or switches where you can flip them to the Off position, it is that simple.


If you smell gas, open windows and shut off the main gas valve. Do not light a flame or turn any electrical switches on or off. Do not use your phone. Leave your house and report the leak from a neighbor’s house. If you use LP gas, stay out of your basement, as LP gas is heavier than air and sinks to lower levels. If you can, go to the natural gas shut off and turn lever on the meter intake pipe so it’s perpendicular to the pipe.


Never try to touch a shock victim who is still touching the source of the shock, the current can flow right through to you. Use a wooden object, like a broom handle to dislodge the victim from the source. Then call for help. Never use a metal object to dislodge the victim!


A strong smell of sewage from any fixture may indicate that the trap in the waste pipe leading away from the fixture has gone bad. Pour water into the drain and wait to see if the smell goes away. If it doesn’t, you may have more problems, so call a plumber.

If you have a flood in progress, minimize the damage with these do’s and don’ts:

  • shut off the main water valve if the flood is the result of a broken pipe
  • shut off electricity to the flooded area, but only if it is possible to reach the main circuit box without touching water!
  • wear rubber boot and gloves if leak is in a drain line or has been contaminated with sewage, and disinfect the area after it has been cleaned and allowed to dry.
  • don’t wade through standing water if it has come in contact with electrical outlets or appliances, the water may be electrically charged.
  • don’t run a gas powered water pump in the house. It produces hazardous fumes.


Don’t give up on a piece of jewelry or other valuable items that go down the drain. Instead, use a pipe wrench to open the plug on the u- shaped trap under the sink- or to remove the entire trap if there is no plug. Dump everything from the trap into a bucket, and look for the item.


If you have both propane and natural-gas appliances, here is an easy way to distinguish the smells. Sniff around, and if the smell is strongest below nose level, it’s propane. Natural gas is lighter and tends to spread through the air, heavier propane tends to settle closer to the floor.

A faint gas odor may signal that a pilot light is out on one of your appliances. in order to relight, set the control valve to off, then to pilot. Release gas to the pilot light by depressing either the red button or the handle, depending on the appliance model. Light with a match; then keep the button or handle depressed for at least one minute. Release it and set the control to On.


Keep the following items in your car in case you are out and run into a bad storm and get stranded:

Bag of sand, Blanket/sleeping bag, dense snacks, such as granola bars, drinking water, flashlight and fresh batteries, matches and candles, shovel, warm hat and insulated waterproof gloves, and last but not least, a good first aid kit!


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