Disasters can strike a home in many ways, whether from floods, fires, storms or other catastrophic natural events, or from sources within the home, with the most common being: pipe bursts, sewage backflows, washing machine overflows, kitchen fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Here is some information on how to deal with and prevent the disasters lurking from inside your home:
1. Pipe Bursts
- When a pipe burst occurs, several gallons per minute can spurt out. If this happens, shut off the main water valve, then turn on the lowest faucet in the house to let the water pour out of the faucet instead of through the burst pipe. When the flow stops, the water must be removed immediately. Call you plumber, insurance agent and water damage specialist as soon as possible.
- Pipe bursts usually occur when the water inside them freezes. Read this article to learn how to prevent frozen water pipes.
2. Sewage Backflows
- Several factors contribute to sewage backflows, including storms and hurricanes that cause river, stream and seawater overflows. The most contaminated floodwater is called black water.
- Always wear protective gear if you must walk through it. Urgently contact a professional restoration company to handle the cleanup.
- To prevent backflows, install backwater valves that stop the backflow on the sanitary sewer line during a flood or sewer blockage.
3. Washing Machine Overflows
- Washing machines account for more than half of all water damage events. If your washing machine overflows, switch off the power supply, then clean the water as fast as possible to prevent further damage.
- To prevent washing machine overflows, inspect hoses once a month. Search for signs of leaks, such as cracks, blisters and bulges.
- For detailed information on how to prevent and act during washer overflows click here.
4. Kitchen Fires
- Common kitchen fires include grease fires, toaster fires, stovetop fires and oven fires.
- If a pan caught fire, never carry it outside, since you can spill burning oil on other objects. Never use water either, as this can splatter hot grease and cause burns. Use a fire extinguisher, put a lid on the pan or drop baking soda on it.
- For toaster fires, unplug the cord (if safe to do so), then use a fire extinguisher or pour baking soda into it.
- In case of a stovetop fire, extinguish the flames with baking soda after turning the oven off.
- If you have a fire in your oven, turn off the heat, then leave the oven door closed and wait for the fire to die out.
- WARNING: never use flour or sugar to douse a fire, as these products may cause a small explosion.
5. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
- Carbon monoxide poisoning is the leading cause of accidental poisoning death in the U.S. Be aware of CO poisoning symptoms (including headache, dizziness, fatigue, and vomiting), especially when gas ovens or wood stoves are used indoors.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors in your home to prevent CO poisoning. Never ignore an alarm, even if no one feels ill. CO is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas.
- Check out more carbon monoxide safety tips here.
These are just some of the disasters that can occur in your home. As with any disaster, you can prevent one by being prepared and informed. PuroClean is ready to come to your home’s rescue in case of a disaster involving fire, mold and water damage.