Here in the next couple of months, we are going to be sending you on a Home Scavenger Hunt. Whether you just moved in or you’ve been in your house for years, it is still important to refresh yourself on where some essential things are in your home.
Finding them now is a time of calm verse, a time of panic during a claim.
Let’s paint a picture of what you don’t want to happen:
Waaa ruuuuuushhhhhh – “Honey, what’s that sound?” Together you start hustling through rooms in the house to find where the sound is coming from. By the time you get into the master bathroom upstairs, it’s too late, water is everywhere!
“Turn off the water” gets shouted, and that triggers the hunt for the shut-off valve. Water keeps flowing out while in pursuit of a shut-off valve, the main valve, or anything closer.
Tips: Typically, there are shut off valves at all your water sources. Your bathroom sink has its own shut-off. The washer has it’s own shut-off. The dishwasher and kitchen sink each have their own. Even the refrigerator has one, but it is probably the hardest to get to.
With one person upstairs fiercely snatching towels from the linen closet to start the cleanup efforts, and the other downstairs, the quickest valve and most inclusive valve to get to is the Main Valve…in the basement. That way, all problems are at least temporarily halted.
All water in the house is now off, it’s time to assess the damage.
Think About It: How much damage could have been stopped if the Main Valve was your first stop to end the spraying water sound? Could that have saved you thousands of dollars in a claim? It probably could. Instead of grabbing towels to clean up, would it have been more beneficial to use the nearest shut off valve?
In the heat of the moment, we often go into “survival mode.” Our basic knowledge of where valves tend to escape us, especially if it’s been a while since you’ve used one.
What if you aren’t the ones at home when something goes awry with your water? We think it is beneficial to take your kids on a home tour too. Show them where at the valves are and explain to them what they do. Remind them from time to time also.
Tip: Pick a particular day each year that you check things around the house. Make it a day that you can remember. (Anniversary, Birthday, Funny Date from a movie, Holiday) Check the batteries in your Smoke Alarm, review fire escape plan, and find those valves too. For example, Every Groundhogs day, you have a family meeting and take care of family business.
Show your kids where the valves are because what if you have a babysitter for the evening? At least the kids have an idea in case of a water incident, the babysitter may or may not know what needs to be done, but equipt your kids to be helpful. Or maybe your kids are grown, and your teenagers are home when the water bursts.
Your whole family lives in the house, get the entire family involved in knowing how to take care of the house.
Take a picture of your whole family around your Main Water Valve. Post it to our Facebook Page or your favorite social media site and use #InsuranceHomeTour 2020. There will be rewards for each stop on our home tour. We will be posting more information about deadlines on our Social Media pages.