Here is something for the homeowners. Tag your water line, gas lines and power boxes. If this is the house you have lived in for years or you just moved in this is a great idea.

Find a friend who knows their way around a house. No not the way to your kitchen, but someone who knows the difference between a gas line and a water line. Have this friend or better yet you might want to hire a trusted professional to do the job.


Your mission is to have them show you what is what. So in the event of an emergency you know what to turn off and sometimes you can simply correct very minor issues. For instance if the pilot goes out in your furnace, do you know how to restart it? It’s very simple if you follow the instructions inside of the furnace.


Do you own a plunger, a good set of screwdrivers and a hammer? Recently I needed to turn off the water connection to my refrigerator. The store told me it would be under the sink or in the basement. There are three knobs under the sink and I think one goes to the dishwasher. I decided to call in a professional to point out to me what goes to what. I can then tag each one for the future.

Speaking of professionals, keep a list of professionals that you can call on quickly. This list should include a plumber and an electrician. Become a member of Angie’s List. This is a great resource for tested workers.

I’ve had good luck with Angie’s List. I met them at the annual home show and this service is nationwide. There are many single ladies who own homes and this would be a great service for you. Hey guys, this would be a wonderful Valentine’s gift for someone. Just think about it. You can give them a beautiful card with a membership to Angie’s List or a membership to AAA inside. She would or should be so impressed that you want her to be safe in her home and car.

Back to our game of “it tag.” Don’t forget to tag your power box. You should be able to open the electrical panel box and know what breaker goes to what appliance and what part of the house. Do you have several flashlights handy? One in the bedroom and the kitchen? Many come with magnets on the side so you can place it right on the side of the refrigerator. When you are totally in the dark it helps to know that the flashlight has a home and you can get to it quickly. Keep candles and lighters handy as well. However, be careful with the candles. Please don’t place them near your curtains or leave them unattended.

A home can be such a blessing and just a few tags in the proper places can assure you that you won’t curse the day you became a homeowner. If you’re considering home ownership, right now your choices and opportunities are vast. But remember, a lot comes with the territory of home ownership. No more calling the landlord. If it breaks, you fix it or you live with it broke. Tagging can make the fixing just a little easier.

“Tag, you’re it.”

(E-mail the columnist at

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