Thursday, November 5, 2020

Home Safety: Risks and Hazards of Indoor Flooding

Flooding does not only happen when you live near a body of water. A flood could happen inland, too, and it can happen for several reasons. Sometimes it could happen because of sewage overflow, a burst pipe, or simply a leaky appliance. Apart from the physical damage brought by indoor floods, there are many other health risks and safety hazards that need to be considered.

Floodwater could carry some bacteria and viruses that could cause mild to severe health problems. People with low immune systems, the elderly, children, and expectant mothers are all at risk of catching an illness. Furthermore, wading through floodwater also poses the danger of getting injured or electrocuted.

Health Risks and Safety Hazards of Indoor Flooding

Mold Infestation

One of the typical health risks of indoor flooding is mold infestation. Other than causing serious damage to your house's structural integrity, the existence of mold in your home could cause certain medical problems.

Mold exposure causes allergic reactions, including watery eyes, rashes, and sneezing. Molds could also trigger asthma attacks. In some instances, prolonged exposure to molds could cause death. Before anything drastic occurs, immediately contact a water damage repair contractor.

Contaminated Water

Floodwater could pollute your home's drinking water with parasites and bacteria. Your clean water is also likely to be contaminated if it has been sitting too long. When indoor flooding happens, evacuate your children and pets immediately to avoid accidental consumption of contaminated water. If your child or pet has swallowed contaminated water, seek medical attention immediately.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide poisoning is another health danger that indoor flooding poses. Indoor flooding could sometimes knock off generators or appliances that use gas. When this occurs, carbon monoxide mixes with your indoor air. A carbon monoxide gas is colorless and odorless. Thus, it is impossible to detect its presence all by yourself.

Cross-Contamination

Cross-contamination of household items could also happen during an indoor flood. Pathogens and other infectious diseases could get into porous materials, such as wooden toys and wooden kitchen utensils. Consider disposing of them right away to avoid any health risks.

As for toys, kitchenware, and other household items made of metal or plastic materials, you could thoroughly wash them with disinfectant soap and water. Contaminated linens, clothes, stuffed animals, and pillows should also be washed thoroughly.

Electrical Hazards

One of the major dangers of indoor flooding is that it might cause electrocution. Water and electricity don't go well together. Wading on floodwater in your house while the main power switch is on is extremely dangerous as it might lead to fatality.

When power outlets and appliances come in contact with floodwater, they become a conduit of electrical current. Thus, immediately turn off your main power source when indoor flooding occurs.

Diseases and Skin Infections

Stagnant water could become a breeding ground for waterborne diseases, including cholera, typhoid fever, and leptospirosis. If you are living in warmer climates, it could even become a breeding place for mosquitos. For people with diabetes, a simple wound could become severely infected when it comes in contact with contaminated water.

Things to Do When Indoor Flooding Occurs

Stop Water at Its Source

The first thing to do when indoor flooding occurs is to find the water source and stop the water from continually flowing. Immediately address this concern to prevent further damage to your house. However, if the flooding is other than broken water pipes, proceed with the next instruction instead.

Turn off Electricity

After you have figured out the source of the flood and stopped it, switch off all electrical systems in your house. If for you to get to the fuse box is to step in the water, call an electrician instead. They are experts in their field, and they have more knowledge in dealing with these situations.

Evacuate the Area

Upon switching off all electrical systems in your house, you should leave the premises and find an area outside your house that is dry and free from any hazard. Account for every member of the household  - kids, pets, relatives living with you, or friends who are visiting. Make sure as well that everyone is unhurt.

Ask for Help

Once everyone in your household is safe and on dry ground, call for help. If anyone is injured, immediately call 911 for medical attention. The flooding has already done the damage. What is important is that everyone is safe and sound.

After addressing any medical concerns, proceed with the recovery process. If you are a renter, let your landlord know what happened. And if you are a homeowner, immediately call your insurance company.

Document Everything

Before you proceed with the big clean up process, do not forget to document everything for you to have a proof for your insurance claim. Wear protective gear before reentering your house as an indoor flood might carry with it sewage and other hazardous substances.

By staying level-headed and following these instructions, you will surely withstand indoor flooding that might occur.

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