With the inevitable storms that come with spring, homeowners should educate themselves about ways to prepare their homes for inclement weather. One often overlooked area is shutting off the home’s utilities to prevent gas leaks, water leaks, and electrical fires.
Locate the home’s electrical box and turn each individual switch to the off position. Then turn off the main breaker, which is larger and typically located near the top of the box.
Find out where the main water valve enters the home, which is typically in the basement or in the crawl space. Locate the round knob where the pipe enters the home—this should be the shut off valve. Turn the valve clockwise until it stops, then open faucets in the home to drain out excess water.
Homeowners should contact their natural gas provider to obtain instructions on shutting off their gas. The shutoff process varies, but typically involves using a special wrench. You should only turn off the gas in extreme emergencies, as a service person from the gas company is the only person who can turn it back on.