We don’t usually picture things going wrong in our homes, or at least we hope they don’t! So you might not have practiced what to do in the event of an emergency. Unfortunately, it can be easy to panic when water is gushing into your home or something is on fire. So take the time to memorize these simple instructions, and you’ll be well prepared to handle four common types of home emergencies.

Fire. If you don’t already have one, get a fire extinguisher and familiarize yourself with the instruction before a fire ever occurs. If a fire occurs in the kitchen, avoid throwing water on it, especially if it’s a grease fire. Smother it with a metal pot lid if you cant (don’t use glass, which can shatter when heated too hot). An oven fire can actually be extinguished by simply turning it off and keeping the oven door closed. But of course, go ahead and call the fire department just in case.

Leaking roof. In the event of a leaking roof, you naturally want to catch any dripping water with a bucket right away. If the dripping is extensive you should move furniture or other valuable items out of the area and perhaps throw down towels to soak up the water. Call a roofing professional right away, but don’t fall into the trap of hiring the cheapest one. Roofs are important, so you want a quality repair.

Broken pipe. Learn where your home’s main water shutoff valve is located, and learn it now. Make sure other family members know its location, too, because you can’t guarantee that you’ll be at home in the event of a broken pipe. Shut off the water immediately in the event of a broken pipe, and call a plumber to come repair the problem.

Overflowing toilet. This can feel like an urgent situation, but turning off the water at the base of the toilet is a simple enough fix. Next, swap out the flapper inside your toilet tank. This step actually solves many overflowing toilet problems! If you suspect a blocking in your plumbing, of course, you need to call a plumber. Throw down some towels to soak up the waste water, and give us a call if you’re worried about water damage.

And of course, always call us if you’re worried about fire or water damage and the ensuing cleanup process. We can help you get your home back to normal.