In the Kansas City area, the greatest risks for homeowners are natural disasters, such as severe storms, tornados, and floods. In the winter, ice storms can lead to power outages and frozen pipes, while man-made emergencies include fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
As a homeowner, it’s important to keep your family as safe as possible and to know what to do in case there’s a gas or water leak. For starters, install carbon monoxide detectors on each level of your home, and don’t forget to change the batteries every 6 months.
You want to install a carbon monoxide detector within 40 feet of all bedrooms. The detectors should be installed so they will be easily heard in all sleeping areas.
Know Where Your Utility Mains Are
Learn where all of your utility mains are located and how to operate them because this is essential to minimizing property damage and maintaining household safety.
Ensure that every person in your household knows where the utility switches are and how to work them – especially the main water, electric, and gas switches and valves.
Turning Off Gas When You Detect a Leak
Be aware that it can take a few days before gas is restored to your home. Only shut it off if there is a leak. You can tell there is a leak if the unmarked wheels on the gas meter start spinning, or by the distinct smell of “rotten eggs.”
What to do if you suspect a gas leak:
- Turn off the main valve.
- Open all windows and doors.
- Keep a crescent wrench near the gas valve in case of an emergency shut-off.
- To shut off the gas, turn the lever one-quarter turn.
- Do not ignite any open flames such as those from a lighter, match, or candles.
- Do not turn on any electrical switches or appliances.
- DO NOT TRY TO TURN YOUR GAS BACK ON. Instead, call the local gas utility company.
A natural gas leak can cause a fire or explosion when not handled properly. Your home’s main gas valve should be next to your gas meter outside of your home.
Shutting Off the Water to Your Home
Water can do more than cause thousands in property damage, it can cause electrocution when it comes into contact with electrical wiring. If you have a major water leak in your home, be sure to shut off the water supply.
The inside water shutoff valve is usually identifiable by a red or yellow wheel that is attached to a riser pipe in an alley, basement, or garage. The shut off the water in your home, turn the colored wheel clockwise.
For more advice on gas or water leaks, or to schedule a service call with one of our Kansas City plumbers, contact A-1 Sewer & Septic Service Inc.!