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Home Hazards Inspection

An important step in bolstering your emergency plan and keeping you and your loved ones safe is periodic inspecting of your home.

The following is a basic checklist to help you identify and correct possible home hazards BEFORE an incident has occurred. For ideas on how to better protect your home from hazards before they occur, please review our Home Hazards Inspection Checklist (109KB).

After emergencies, it is also important to inspect your home. Be sure to maintain your safety at all times, and never return to a home that may be unsafe. If necessary, you should consult the City of Worcester Department of Inspectional Services.

Learning to Shut Off Utilities

Know where and how to shut off utilities at the main switches or valves. Check with your local utility companies for instructions and teach all family members how and when to shut off utilities.


  • If you smell the odor of gas or if you notice a large consumption of gas being registered on the gas meter, shut off the gas immediately. First, find the main shut off valve located on a pipe next to the gas meter. Use an adjustable wrench to turn the valve to the off position.
  • Remember, once gas is manually shut off, it needs to be turned back on by a licensed professional.


After a major disaster, shut off the electricity. Sparks from electrical switches could pose a shock or fire hazard. Carefully turn off the electricity at the main electrical breaker in your home.


Water may be turned off at either of two locations:

  • At the main meter, which controls the water flow to the entire property.
  • At the water main leading into the home (shutting off the water here retains the water supply in your water heater, which may be useful in an emergency).

Attach a valve wrench to the water line (this tool can be purchased at most hardware stores). Also, label the water mains for quick identification.

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