Emergency items for the home.

I have 15 water shutoff valves in my house and I know exactly where each of them are and how to operate them. Do you?
Many small home emergencies become huge disasters because we don't know how to take care of the property when the unexpected happens. Buying a home of your own is not just about building wealth and saving taxes -- it's not just about money. Since homeownership represents the largest investment for most people, you definitely need to become a project manager as well. Homeowners' losses for 2002 from all perils totaled $25.6 billion, down from $26.8 billion in 2001, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Get to know your home intimately. Knowing where the shutoff valves are located, for instance, can save you a lot of money and grief later if disaster strikes. .
In this article will discuss emergency items for the home. I hope that this information is helpful in the maintenance of homes.

Water Shutoffs
Some bathrooms have three cut-off valves -- one for the commode, two under the sink (hot and cold water). If, for some reason, those break and there is water coming through, it is important to know where the main water valve is located and to test it to make sure the knob doesn't break off in case of a real emergency. There also may be two water shut off valves going toward the outside water faucets. It's easy to let these valves age into disrepair.

Hot Water Heater
How's the hot water heater? Have you checked the bottom of it lately to see any evidence of rust? For many homeowners, this is one of those household items that never gets checked until water is running everywhere. The hot water heater should also have a cutoff valve. Know how to use it and have your kids try it out too.

Insurance Claims
Finally, if you find that you didn't do the above preventative activities, then you should at least know where your insurance policy is located and understand what is covered and what is not. If you live in attached dwellings, like condos and townhouses, then you want to make sure you keep enough insurance to cover your house and any damage that might cross your limited property line. To keep your rates down, take care of the little stuff -- anything under $500 -- and report the more expensive accidents (flooding of the basement). If you're looking for lower homeowners insurance rates, you could even consider a higher deductible. Switching your deductible from $250 to $1,000, for instance, could cut your premium by 25 percent. Emergencies can become less taxing with a little testing, preventative maintenance and knowing your home's systems.

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