Don’t forget the smaller everyday safety items, even when you prep for the big ones

I was putting up Christmas decorations yesterday in front of my home when I heard a hissing sound…tracked it down to the gas meter. I sprayed some soapy water on it and it foamed all up, indicating a serious leak. At that point I could smell it too. So…nat gas people showed up, attempted to tighten connections….which didn’t fix it, they ended up replacing entire meter which then required a pressure test. Turns out I also had 2 small leaks INSIDE my house I wasn’t aware of! So I spent the day repairing those connections. 1 of them was to my emergency gas heater used during power outages. I hadn’t used it in 2 years. You get caught up in prepping for the big dangers…WWIII, covid, civil unrest etc etc…and miss the little things that can still kill you. It’s winter, you have a CO detector? How about a radon test thingy? Here in Pennsylvania, it’s estimated that 40% of older homes have a radon issue. Gonna be tough to get treated for lung cancer while hunkering down in your shelter! I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t get so focused on the big scary scenarios that your forget to watch for the little ones. Dead is dead regardless which killed you.  


  • Comments (4)

    • 1

      Gosh! That has got to be scary. Did you turn off the gas supply to your house between when you discovered the leak and when they showed up? 

      Thanks for the reminder to not forget the smaller stuff.

    • 5

      This and Gideon’s comment brings up another point…do you know where your gas shut off valve is and how to close it? How about the master water shut off to your house? Having been a firefighter for many years, I knew how to shut off the gas at the meter right away…do you? 

    • 1

      Last August, I managed to put a really big gash in my thumb with a very sharp knife. It was probably optimal that not a few weeks before I had put together a trauma centric house medical kit with tape, rolled gauze, TQ and butterfly bandages.

      I only needed the wraps and butterflies, but here, there’s not a hospital in town that I would trust even to just stitch me back up. That with gloves and washing hands all the time, I think kept any infection at bay and it healed up just fine.

      Also I made sure we got smoke /CO detectors before we started the heaters again last year. I also made sure I tested them a few times to be sure.

      I try to make sure all the food we eat isn’t bad somehow and anything too suspicious gets tossed. And make sure anything that’s recalled isn’t in the pantry.

      I do think we need to get the long t handle water turn off back to a place it’s easy to get to, but I have the weird short water/gas/prybar tool near the door so if the gas at either house needs to be turned off, it’s at least not buried.

      It’s always the little details that can do you in, for sure.

    • 2

      Mine isn’t a life or death prep, but it’s a handy one. My husband gave me a tiny (but powerful!) flashlight that I hung on my work lanyard. There was some kind of power interruption a few weeks ago, and the big windowless building I work in went black. 

      Granted, the emergency lights came on after a few seconds, but the darkness was long enough for everyone to wonder how they were going to find the doors, stairs, and exits.