Emergencies at home are inevitable and often happen without warning. On the other hand, you can take steps to prepare yourself and your family for emergencies and reduce their impact.
The following information will guide you on how to handle some common emergencies that might arise in your home:
Leaks, overflowing toilets and broken water lines are all common plumbing issues. Know how to turn off the main water valve in your house (this is often near the floor where the water meter is).
If there’s flooding, make sure that children and pets stay out of rooms with standing water. Always have the contact details of a plumber you can call on short notice.
Electrical Power Issues
Make a list of appliances and equipment that use electrical power in your home. Make sure everyone knows where the circuit breaker is and how to turn off the power. If you smell gas or see sparks or flames, turning off the main switch at the source (usually near the meter) is essential.
Other electrical power issues that you can’t handle should be reported to the power company.
Fire in the kitchen and other common areas are often the result of cooking accidents. Be on the alert, don’t leave cooking unattended and turn off appliances when not in use. If you detect a fire that’s too huge to handle, get out of the house and call for help.
It’s also essential to have fire alarms, fire extinguishers and smoke detectors in your home. Have an escape plan- ensure everyone understands how to get out of the house in case of a fire threat.
Carbon Monoxide Emergencies
Carbon monoxide is an odourless, colourless and tasteless gas. It is often produced by faulty gas appliances such as furnaces, water heaters and dryers. If carbon monoxide gets trapped in the house, it becomes fatal because it displaces oxygen molecules in the air.
Install carbon monoxide detectors near sleeping areas to alert you if this dangerous gas reaches unsafe levels in your home. If you notice symptoms like headaches, nausea, faintness and weakness, get fresh air immediately, then contact 9-1-1 for help.
Sudden Illness or Injury
If someone has a seizure, loses consciousness, experiences severe bleeding, or has a severe injury, they need immediate medical care. Call 9-1-1 and follow the response team’s instructions.
Keep a list of all medications your family is currently taking and put this information in a centralized location with easy access to first responders. Familiarize yourself with the place you store any necessary equipment such as epi-pens or oxygen tanks.
Most natural disasters require you to evacuate your home immediately. You should be prepared with an emergency kit at all times. Ensure everyone knows its location and plan how to reach each other if family members are separated. Additionally, keep important documents easily accessible for you and your family.
Home emergencies can be terrifying, but knowing how to handle the situations will help you recover quickly. Familiarize yourself with the necessary equipment and safety procedures to reduce the risk of injury or death in all emergencies.