Chemical Caution: What To Know Before You Enter That Damaged Home Or Business
After a natural disaster the local authorities often ban residents and businesses from re-entering buildings until emergency crews have completed their work and the buildings are considered safe.
But even when the authorities give the okay to return to your home or your business the Environmental Protection Agency advises you to take precautions like:
• Be on the alert for leaking containers, especially of chemicals like caustic drain cleaners and chloride bleach.
• Keep people and pets away from leaking or spilled chemicals.
• Avoid contact with flood water. Often, flood water is contaminated with raw sewage or hazardous chemicals.
For Expert Disaster Advice Call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield At (860) 216-2785
• Do not combine chemicals from leaking or damaged containers as this may produce dangerous or violent reactions.
• Don’t dump chemicals down drains, storm sewers, or toilets.
• If you have any doubts about your safety, call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield.
• Never attempt to burn household or business chemicals.
• Clearly mark and set aside unbroken containers until they can be properly disposed of.
• Leave damaged or unlabeled chemical containers undisturbed whenever possible.
• Don’t turn on drinking water pumps (risk of electric shock) or use the septic system until you have it inspected.
• Open all the windows.
What If You Smell Gas?
If you smell gas or hear the sound of escaping gas, don't smoke, light matches, or operate electrical switches. Don't use either cell or conventional telephones or create any other source of ignition. Leave the building immediately. Leave the door open and any windows that may already be open. Notify emergency authorities. Don't return to the building until you are told by authorities that it is safe to do so.
Stay Away from Building Materials
Avoid walking over or otherwise disturbing building materials. Building materials may contain hazardous chemicals or components such as asbestos. These materials, when carried by the air, can be breathed in and cause adverse health effects. Staying away can prevent physical injury and other health issues. If you suspect that asbestos containing materials may be present in your building or home, do not enter.
Possible Asbestos Materials
Asbestos-containing materials often include the following:
• Boiler/pipe insulation
• Floor tiles
• Asbestos roofing
• Transite boards used in laboratory tabletops and in acoustics in auditoriums, music rooms and phone booths
Federal, state, and local personnel are often deployed to affected areas to establish debris-management programs, including household hazardous waste collection and disposal programs. These efforts may take days or weeks to come to all communities. In the meantime, EPA urges the public to exercise caution and report concerns to local environmental, health and waste disposal authorities.
We’re Here To Help
The team at SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield has specialized training and experience in virtually all aspects of assessing and cleaning up after a natural disaster. Rely on the professionals. Call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield (860.216.2785) anytime, 24/7.
Ralph DiCristofaro, Nat Landon, Ron DeFeo
Certified SERVPRO technicians
24 hour emergency service