The winter season can increase the risk of certain household emergencies. Find out what those emergencies are and what you should do when you encounter them.
Your pipes can freeze in the winter. Frozen pipes can cut off your access to water in various fixtures, like your sinks, toilets, showers, baths and appliances. They can also cause an even bigger emergency. When a pipe freezes, it can create a lot of pressure between the blockage and the exit of the drain. This pressure can build up and cause the material to break and burst open.
A burst pipe could spill gallons of water into your home. If you’re not there to turn off the water supply valve right away, your house could flood. You’ll be left with thousands of dollars worth of damage to contend with.
If you notice that you have a frozen pipe, don’t wait for it to burst. Dip into your emergency fund and hire a plumber to thaw the pipes safely. If you don’t have enough emergency savings, don’t skip the fix — use an alternative payment method. Charge the service onto your credit card, or go to a website that lets you apply for a loan online today to resolve your emergency. If you’re approved for an online loan, you can use the borrowed funds to cover the plumbing fees in a hurry. Then, you can follow a straightforward billing cycle to repay the loan.
Furnace failure is not something you want to deal with in the middle of winter when the temperatures are low. A broken furnace could lead to frozen pipes — or worse, burst pipes. It could lead to broken electronics. And most importantly, it could put your health and safety at risk. Hypothermia is dangerous.
If your furnace fails in the winter, you should call a professional repairperson right away. In the meantime, you should find safe ways to keep the house warm, like using space heaters. You should also dress for warmth and use blankets and hot water bottles to keep the cold at bay.
If it’s very cold, see whether you can temporarily stay somewhere else, like a relative’s place or a hotel, until the problem is fully resolved.
Housefires are more common during the winter months. The American Red Cross states that they increase in the fall and winter months, peaking in December and January. Why? There are more fire hazards brought indoors during these months, like candles, fireplaces and space heaters.
If you notice a fire starting, you might be able to stop it from spreading. Use a nearby fire extinguisher to douse the flames. If it’s a grease fire in the kitchen, you can smother it with a plan lid and baking soda. Do not use water to stop a grease fire.
If the fire is spreading already, don’t waste precious time trying to put it out. Focus on evacuating the premises and getting all other residents out of the house. Escaping the situation safe and sound is the most important factor in these circumstances.
Once you’ve escaped, call the fire department to address the fire. You may also need an ambulance to respond to potential injuries from burns or smoke inhalation.
Be prepared for these household emergencies this winter. It’s better to be safe than sorry.