How High is The Water?
It is always a good idea to keep water safety in mind in good times and during a crisis. The wrong decision can be costly if not deadly. We remind everyone of the following tips for safety during a water loss or challenge.
Once the waters recede and the immediate danger has passed; one should still use caution before entering a flooded home or structure. Hidden dangers may pose threats as serious as the initial flood itself.
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) offers much guidance on this issue and you may read more at:https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1756-25045-8598/protecting_home_book_508compliant.pdf. Never assume a flooded building is safe and always be aware of the following hazards before re-entry:
- Electrical hazards– Never enter a flooded building if the power is on. Make sure the power is turned off at the main breaker box and leave it turned off until a licensed electrician or building inspector has inspected and deemed it as safe.
- Structural Damage– If the framing or the foundation are damaged – do not enter. Look carefully and if you detect any instability leave immediately. A collapse could cause serious injury or even death. Again, have a licensed professional inspect for safety.
- Hazardous Materials– These include pesticides, fuel oil, gasoline or other chemicals which may have been spread during the flood. Typically, if the structure was built prior to 1978 there may also be a risk of asbestos and or lead based paint. Any building material other than solid wood, glass or metal may pose a risk of asbestos.
- Injuries- One of leading leading causes of injury is slips and falls due to slick surfaces. A damaged building may also present the risk of falling objects.
- Biological Hazards- These include bacteria, viruses, mold and mildew. Bacteria and Viruses present in dirty water pose a health risk if ingested or from exposure. Even a small cut can become infected from bacteria or hidden parasites. Mold and mildew may grow indoors and can cause health effects if not safely cleaned and remediated.
Remember, floods can occur due to natural causes or from man-made issues such as broken pipes. If you have any concerns about water damage; please contact us at SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768 or visit: https://www.SERVPROsussexcounty.com/