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Emergency Tips for First-Time Homeowners


Unless you’ve purchased a fixer-upper, there’s usually a honeymoon period when you get to settle in and simply enjoy the space and freedom that comes from owning your own home. Unfortunately, that grace period can end unexpectedly when issues arise that landlords usually manage. Purchasing one of the new homes in Grand Forks ND from Crary Real Estate is likely to help you avoid some of the emergencies that arise, but even new homes face unexpected issues. Here are a few tips that every homeowner, especially first-time owners, should know.

One thing that no home is safe from is fire. Obviously, you should have working fire alarms, but you should also have a fire extinguisher on hand and know how to use it. There’s a simple acronym — PASS — which everyone should know. Pull the pin by the handle; Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire, not the higher flames; Squeeze the trigger; and Sweep the foam from side to side.

No one wants to deal with an overflowing toilet, but almost everyone will at some point, especially if you have young kids that like to put things in that don’t belong there. If your toilet does start to overflow, lift the tank lid and raise the float (typically the black ball) to close the valve that lets the fresh water into the bowl. Keep that valve closed until you or someone else can turn off the water source, which is often a knob near the toilet. Then it’s time to start plunging for smaller problems or call in the professionals for bigger ones.

There are other times when you may need to shut off water to your entire home, especially if a pipe freezes and bursts. While new homes in Grand Forks ND may be better protected against frozen pipes, it’s still something to look out for and you need to be prepared if the worst happens. The main shut-off valve is usually found where the water enters your home, such as in a basement. Be sure you know where that shut-off valve is and maybe practice a few times to make sure it’s in working order and you know what needs to be done in the drama of an emergency.

You should also know where your circuit breaker is and make sure it is properly labeled so that you can replace blown fuses or reset the switches when necessary. Plus, when adding overhead lighting or doing any sort of electrical work, you need to be able to turn off the power to be safe. People often tape labels, but that can wear out over time. Consider creating a paper version of the breaker box that you can label and laminate and hang next to the real thing for easy readability, especially in the dark!

These are a few basics that every first-time homeowner should be aware of and know how to handle in an emergency. With advanced awareness, you won’t waste precious time, and hopefully less damage will be done to your home.

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This post was written by Crary Real Estate

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