What Everyone (Including Renters) Should Know About Their Home

What Everyone (Including Renters) Should Know About Their Home

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Dabney Frake
Oct 22, 2014
(Image credit: Andrea Sparacio)

Even as a renter, certain household knowledge is a must. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have to pay for repairs or monitor your energy bills. Familiarization with the workings of your home helps you avoid major aggravation — or even disaster — later. So, don't wait until you have a actual problem to scramble around, trying to figure things out. Here's what you need to know:

  • How to Shut Off Water Main: If a water pipe springs a leak, knowing where the master shutoff valve is could save you from a lot of water damage. For owners, it’s not just about belongings, but both cosmetic and structural damage to the home. A lot of homes have multiple valves, which make it easier. But if you aren’t sure where the leak is, and need to do something quickly, cutting off your home’s entire water supply isn’t a bad idea. Short term it will buy you some time to investigate, and prevent a gush of water all over the house.
  • Fire Extinguisher Location: Home owners and renters alike should have a fire extinguisher nearby and handy for emergencies. When you move in, just make sure you know where it is — under the sink, in the closet, etc.. — and have a basic understanding of how to use it.
  • How to Find the Circuit Breaker Box: Something shorts and you are suddenly left in the dark. Do you want to wander all over the house, trying to find that magical grey door in the wall that holds the solution to your current predicament? No, you really don’t. You want to strut confidently in the right direction and flip those breakers before anyone has the chance to say “flashlight."
  • How to Clean Dryer Hoses: You’ve probably heard about house fires created from the build up of lint in hoses. And you might know you need to periodically clean the hose to prevent that. removing the hose from the rear of the dryer and using a brush and vacuum to remove any lint buildup.

What else is on your list to learn?

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