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October 1, 2015

How to Prevent 5 Common Disasters in a Residence

A residence can be affected by natural disasters (fires, floods, storms, etc.) and by sources from the inside, such as kitchen fires, washing machine overflows, sewage backflows and pipe bursts.  

Here is some information on how to deal with and prevent disasters lurking from inside a home:

Pipe Bursts

  • When a pipe burst occurs, several gallons per minute can spurt out. If this happens, the main water valve should be shut off. When the flow stops, the water must be removed immediately. A certified plumber, insurance agent and water damage specialist must be called as soon as possible.
  • Pipe bursts usually occur when the water inside them freezes. This article provides helpful information on how to prevent frozen water pipes.

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.
  • Protective gear must be used when walking through it. A professional restoration company should be contacted immediately to handle the cleanup.
  • To prevent backflows, property owners can install backwater valves that stop the backflow on the sanitary sewer line during a flood or sewer blockage.

Washing Machine Overflows

  • Washing machines account for more than half of all water damage events. If the washing machine overflows, the power supply should be switched off and the water must be quickly removed to prevent further damage.
  • To prevent washing machine overflows, the hoses should be inspected monthly. Any problems, such as cracks, blisters and bulges, must be fixed.
  • Detailed information on how to prevent and act during washer overflows can be found here.

Kitchen Fires

  • Common kitchen fires include grease fires, toaster fires, stovetop fires and oven fires.
  • A pan that caught fire should never be carried outside. Throwing water on it is not a good solution either, as this can splatter hot grease and cause burns. Using a fire extinguisher is the safest solution.
  • For toaster fires, the cord should be unplugged (if safe to do so), then a fire extinguisher can be used. Alternatively, pouring baking soda into it can also extinguish the fire.
  • In case of a stovetop fire, the flames can be extinguished with baking soda after turning the heat off.
  • If a fire occurred in the oven, the heat must be turned off. The oven door should be kept closed until the fire dies out.
  • WARNING: flour or sugar must never be used to douse a fire, as these products may cause a small explosion.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning

  • Carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal. When gas ovens or wood stoves are used indoors, property owners should be aware of CO poisoning symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and vomiting.
  • Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed in the home. Alarms must never be ignored, even if no one feels ill. CO is an odourless, colorless and tasteless gas.
  • More carbon monoxide safety tips can be found here.

These are just some of the disasters that can occur in a home. Being prepared and informed is crucial in preventing such disasters. PuroClean is ready to come to any home’s rescue in case of a disaster involving fire, mould and water damage.

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