In The Community, Water RestorationPublished April 19, 2021

Children and Water Emergencies

What do we do when we have a mix of children and water emergencies? On the route to independence, it’s common a child will mimic what they see at home. Whether watching parents or guardians, something they may have seen on TV and put their own spin on it. And home improvement, no problem! Just a hammer here or some duct tape and glue there! Done! As much as it’s great that children will step up and try to be the adult, if they have no idea what to do it can end in disaster. Hopefully someone is home with them when disaster happens, but what happens when that isn’t the case? What if your kiddo is home alone or home in charge of others and a water emergency occurs? Do they know what to do?

Here are some considerations for a family conversation with the children in your home if there is an emergency water loss and they are home alone from PuroClean of Hillsboro.

The Big Questions

  • Where are the water shutoff valves in the home? Main valve and toilet valve?
  • Can they reach the water shutoff valve or have a way to reach it?
  • Who do they call?
  • How can they help contain the loss- and should they help contain- until parents/guardians are home?
  • Is there a procedure that can be done at home to minimize the damage?

Types of emergency water losses

When we think of water loss possibilities to happen when an adolescent is home alone, there are a few that instantly pop into mind. The goal is to make sure that they know what to do, so they don’t ignore the issue and assume it will fix itself. Doesn’t mean they have to take care of themselves, but at least notify whoever needs to know.

  • Toilet overflow. Oh, the diet of a pre-teens and teenagers. The toilet water goes down, then comes back up and continues to come back up. If your kid is home alone and the plunger is not doing its job, what should they do? Does the toilet have its own shut off valve? Do they know where it is? And which way to turn it to stop the water from escaping?
  • Pipe bursting. Leaks can happen due to random faults in refrigerator lines, washing machines, dishwashers, bursting pipes under the sink. The list goes on and one. This can be anything from completely accidental beyond anyone’s control to “I think the pipe under the sink is leaking and I am going to surprise everyone with the plumbing skills I learned from a TV show!” Admirable as it might be for them to try and be the hero, if they are going to be the hero, it might be important to know how to turn off the water shutoff valve to be the true hero.
  • When rain and storm water leak in. This is one of those incidents where there isn’t a whole lot that can be done to prevent this- since there isn’t a valve that can be turned off. But what can be done for those home alone? What is the process that would best be suited until the parent or guardian is home?

Do you know where the shutoff valve is to show them in your own home?

Don’t feel bad if you don’t. It happens that there are quite a few adults who don’t know where the shutoff valves are either. This is as good a time as any to learn. As much as this is for the young ones in the home, it also is important for adult to consider. It’s important to be prepared, consider having these conversations and decide what is best for your family. Every home and family are different. There is no “one size fits all” solution.  We hope these questions help you to think about and decide what is best for your home and family.

If and when there is an emergency water loss in your home, PuroClean of Hillsboro is ready to help out in the Portland Metro Area, 24/7.

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24/7 Emergency Response (503) 820-5200