Home Safety is something everybody needs to know. I can never remember where the things are that you're supposed to turn to shut off the Gas, Water or Electricity, so I got Dwight to give me a quick tour through the House so I could get a better handle on this (and to share it with all my Readers, of course!).
The First Rule is to Always Turn to the Right in a Clockwise Motion to Turn off a Valve.
Here's Dwight over by the Gas Line. I've taken a bunch of shots so you can easily recognize this outside of your own house. (By the way, note how the Satellite Dish is in a nice, sheltered position.)
See the Two Holes in the Third Picture? To Turn Off the Gas, you will need to Turn the Valve Clockwise until the Two Holes Match Up. You'll need to use a Crescent Wrench or Pipe Wrench for this, so be sure to have one handy -- perhaps by the Front Entry or over by the Gas-line itself. (Odd little note: Aidan, our 3 year old son, loves his Crescent Wrench so much that he holds it like a baby when he's watching T.V.! Isn't that hilarious??)
You would need to Turn Off the Gas if anyone is ever working on the Gasline (the holes are there so that you can lock in in an Off Position while the work is being done).
If you ever suspect a Gas Leak -- you might smell the gas in the house. Call the Gas Company and go and Shut off the Gas. Stay out of the House until they get there.
If there's a Fire in your house and you can safely get to the Gas-line without any possibility of you getting hurt, run over and Shut Off the Gas.
This is the Electrical Panel, generally found in the Furnace Room.
The Big Black Switch at the Bottom of the Panel is the Main Breaker Switch.
In an Emergency (like when you see smoke or fire coming out of a Plug), and it's safe to do so, go to the Electrical Panel and Switch Off the Main Breaker Switch.
Problem: You're using the Microwave and the Toaster at the same time, and the power quits to both.
Solution: Go to the Electrical Panel. Most of the 'Breakers' (other Switches) will be clearly marked with the name of the Room they service. Locate the one you think most closely fits the problem area, then Pull the Switch to the Opposite Side. This should solve the problem. You might have to try a couple of switches to get the Power back to your Appliances (or wherever they're required).
Take special care not to use the same combination of power use in the future -- find another plug for the Toaster, or use it after you're done with the Microwave. (I don't know why this is such a tricky combination -- probably because of the power load...)
It's critical that you NEVER, EVER Open the Electrical Panel. It could cause Serious Injury or Death. Never take any risks with Electricity. Call an Electrician to Solve any Serious Issues.
Okay, Water is pouring out of the Dishwasher or a Tap has Burst -- what to do, what to do??
Go to the Furnace Room (Utility Room). Shut Off the Main Water Valves. Turn the Valve Clockwise (to the Right) to Shut them off.
The Main Water Shut-Off Valves look like Large Levers (often Red and Yellow) or in an older home, the Round Knob Handles. They're usually on an Angled Pipe.
The Lever is Open when it is Flush with the Pipe in a Vertical Position.
The Lever is Closed when it is in a Horizontal Position to the Pipe.
Call your Plumber.
And now for the Toilet... did you see the Bernie Mac (one of my favorite shows!) Episode where Wanda discovers the Toilet Overflowing? It's every woman's worst nightmare (or one of the worst!)...
Well, I can never watch anything without linking it back to my Site in some way, so I immediatley asked Dwight to please show me how to deal with that... so here are some lovely pictures of the Toilet.
Okay, there's the Toilet. And there's the pipe at the Base of it. See the little Lever? (Photo 2) All you have to do is Turn the Lever Clockwise (To the Right) until it's Horizontal (closed). (Photo 3)
Now you will probably still have a bunch of yucky water to clean up, but at least you'll have stopped any more water from coming out. Now you can call your Plumber!
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