When something goes wrong in your home, it can be a hassle at best and dangerous at worst. What do you do when a pipe bursts or your furnace goes dead? Knowing how to handle these critical situations is a necessary part of being a homeowner. Here are five common household emergencies and what to do when they occur.

Burst pipe. Turn off the water at the main valve as quickly as possible, then turn on the lowest faucet in your home, to let any remaining water drain out. Then clean and dry everything affected by the burst, to guard against water damage.

Dead furnace. Make sure the furnace is switched on and check the circuit breaker to see if it’s been tripped. Make sure the gas valve is on as well. Check the filter, and make sure the thermostat is working properly (replace the batteries if necessary). If the furnace still doesn’t work, call an HVAC technician.

Flooded basement. Turn off the electrical power before you go near the water. When you do wade in to rescue your belongings, wear plastic gloves and boots to protect yourself from contamination.

Kitchen fire. This is one of the most common household emergencies, and it’s necessary to act quickly and not panic. Unplug or turn off the heat source immediately. Keep baking soda on hand to put out grease or electrical fires from a stove or toaster or use a dry chemical extinguisher. Never use water. If the fire is in the oven, do nothing. Once the oven is off, leave the door closed and wait until the oxygen runs out, extinguishing the fire naturally.

Gas leak. If you smell natural gas (a sulfur-like, rotten egg smell from a chemical added to odorless natural gas), get out of the house immediately and call the gas company.

For more tips on dealing with common household emergencies, contact our experts at Pipe Works Services, We’ve served New Jersey’s plumbing and HVAC needs since 2000. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Chatham, NJ, and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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