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5 Things every home owner absolutely has to know.

 - How do you shut off the water.  There is a water shut-off at your house, and there is one at the street.  Find them both and know how to use them.  Any plumbing problem becomes less a problem the second you cut off the water.

Note - the cut-off at the street might require a special key.  Get one (available at your local hardware store) and know how to use it!

 - Know where your hvac on/off switch is.  The switch is generally found near the furnace and it usually resembles a light switch.  If you have a fire, and you have the time - shut it down!

 - How to shut down your electrical system.  Know where the main breaker is - it could be in the circuit box or it could be a disconnect outside.  Older boxes may require turning off each breaker individually.  Know how yours works and where it is located.

 - Where is the fire?  You should have working smoke detectors located in EVERY sleeping room, plus in hallways and gathering rooms.  Having them in mechanical rooms is a good plan as well.  Newer detectors will sync up with each other so when one goes off, they all will go off.

You can also get smoke alarms that incorporate human voices instead of the beep-beep-beep…  This has been proven to be more effective, especially when small children are involved.

 - How do I get out?  Every resident in a house has to know the best, and second best way out of every room in the house.  Escape plans need to include rope ladders where applicable.  Also - know where you are going once you are out.  Have a meeting place away from the house for all to head to.