HOME SWEET HOME: Five home emergencies and how to deal with them ASAP


HOME SWEET HOME: Five home emergencies and how to deal with them ASAP

When unforeseen emergencies arise in the home, it’s easy to be stunned with fear or lack the tools to know what to do next. Luckily, some of the biggest, most popular home emergencies can be taken care of in two or three easy steps.

  1. Your water flow slows or stops. Your home’s pipes could be frozen. This occurs in more than 50 million homes in the United States each year.
  • Open all faucets
  • Locate the frozen areas
  • Use a hair dryer to heat the pipes until a study flow of water returns

Heres what to do if the pipes burst:

  • Shut off the main water valve
  • Turn off electricity to the affected area
  • Call a plumber to fix or replace the pipes
  • Clean up excess water and dry thoroughly to prevent mold and mildew

If ignored, frozen pipes can burst. In just one day, a 1/8 inch crack can release 250 gallons of water.

  1. Your toilets and tubs are backed up. This could be a sewer drain clog and a potentially nasty problem.
  • Use stoppers to close drains in plumbing fixtures.
  • Vacate affected areas.
  • Call a plumber to clear the blockage.
  • After you’ve fixed the problem, call a professional sewage clean up service to sanitize your home. Most homeowners do not have the resources to clean this kind of mess.

Wastewater contains more than 120 different viruses.

  1. A family member is disoriented, vomiting and having trouble breathing. It could be poison.
  • If the victim is unconscious or not breathing, call 911. If they are alert, call the poison control center at 1 (800) 222-1222.
  • Remain calm and follow the operator’s instructions.
  • Have the following information handy: Victims age and weight, approximate time of poisoning, address, name of substance and symptoms.

In one day, poison centers field 10,830 calls and 87 people die from unintentional poisoning.

  1. You smell rotten eggs. This could be a sign of a gas leak.
  • Get out of the house immediately.
  • Do NOT attempt to locate the leak or turn appliances on or off.
  • Call 911, then call your utility company.
  1. Your carbon monoxide detector goes off, or you have a headache, chest pain, dizziness and nausea. This could mean you have carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Get outside of the house immediately.
  • Call 911 or go to the emergency room.

Each year, carbon monoxide poisoning kills more than 400 Americans, causes 20,000 emergency visits and results in over 4,000 hospitalizations. It cannot be seen or smelled.

This article was brought to you by State Farm. 

Information was used from various sources including State Farm, Insurance institute for Business & Home Safety, Natural Resources Defense Council, American Association of Poison Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and CDC.

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