Pinpoint the Emergency Shutoff Before Your Remodel

Shannon Lee

When it comes to remodeling your old house, you've probably thought of everything. You've taken your time with researching contractors. You've gathered estimates for the work and you've looked over the contracts with a fine-toothed comb. Maybe you've even written out that first check and you're ready to get started.

The One Safety Feature You Might Have Overlooked

But before the work commences, make sure safety comes first. That includes knowing where the emergency shutoff valves are throughout your home. When it comes to a home remodel, you should always be prepared for the most unexpected surprises.

Make sure you have your home's gas, electricity, and water under control at all times. Here's how to help ensure the safety of your family, your contractor, and your home itself.

  • Look over your home to find where the emergency shutoff valves are. They might not be where you expect. For instance, some homes might have a water shutoff in the basement or cellar, while for others it's in the street, under a manhole cover, and has to be turned off with a special wrench.
  • If in doubt, call the experts. A quick call to your utility services can bring someone out to tell you where the shutoff valve is. Don't trust what you are told over the phone--be sure to check it out. Construction on each home is different, so where the shutoff usually is for homes in your area might not be the same for yours.
  • Make sure you have the right tools to turn off the utilities in the event of an emergency. If a certain tool is required, figure out exactly what it is and make sure you have one on hand. Better yet, if you can place it in a location near the shutoff valve, you won't have to search for it when precious seconds count.
  • Test the shutoff valve before you have to use it. Running to turn the shutoff valve to off only to find it impossibly stuck is a homeowner's nightmare. Make sure you can turn the shutoff valve with ease.
  • What if you don't have a shutoff valve? Some older homes might not have an emergency shutoff. If that is the case, have one installed as soon as you can. It takes just one serious water leak or gas problem to make good on your investment.

Keeping your home safe and secure is the biggest priority. Before your home remodel begins, make sure you have the means to protect your home if an accident occurs.


About the Author

Shannon Dauphin is a freelance writer based near Nashville, Tennessee. Her house was built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her hobbies.

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