Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

On the Home Front: How to Take Care of Common Household Disasters

Home is where the heart is, unless of course your home is currently flooded, freezing, or on fire. While these disasters can be life changing, or in the very least stressful, it’s important to keep your head while dealing with the cleanup. Fast action can help protect your possessions and decrease the overall cost of repairs. Additionally, some simple preparation before a disaster, is generally the best way to help make recovery easier.

Basic Preparation
Let’s face it, sooner or later, something will go catastrophically wrong in your home. Thankfully, some simple advanced preparation can help the cleanup afterwards. In your house, you should always have a shop-vac (a cheap one is just fine), fire extinguisher, know where your water shut-off valves are, know where you breaker box is, and install smoke alarms in every room. Finally, it’s a very important to make detailed records of all your possessions; you can create a written list, take detailed photos, or use a camcorder. This is especially important for the valuables.

Burst Pipe or Water Heater
Cold weather, clogs, or sometimes just normal wear and tear can cause pipes or water heaters to burst. The first thing is to shut off the water supply. You may need to shut off water to the whole house. Depending on the size of the damage, you may be able to clean up the mess yourself with towels, a shop-vac, a dehumidifier, powerful fans, and a mold killer. For larger floods, call a professional clean up team. After a flood, your worst enemy is time; the more time that passes before clean up the more mold will grow. After the damage is done, be sure to check routinely for any mold buildup.

Furnace Troubles

Besides the inconvenience of a freezing home, furnace troubles can actually be very dangerous. According to Always Plumbing & Heating carbon monoxide can leak out of a malfunctioning gas furnace, and a cold home is prone to burst pipes. At the beginning of each winter, you should have your furnace serviced by a professional Edmonton furnace repair crew. Additionally, install carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home, and check them regularly.

Fire
Being able to deal properly with a fire is really mostly about prevention and preparation. You should have several fire extinguishers in your home, smoke alarms in every room, and escape ladders for 2nd story rooms. On a regular basis, go over an evacuation plan with your family. Address where will you meet outside in case of a fire, the best escape route from each room, how to use a fire extinguisher, and teach small children how to call 911.

Home emergencies are something no one likes to think about, but must be brought up from time to time. Prevention is key to making the aftermath bearable. Make sure you and your family stays safe with the right prevention and clean up tips.

Tim Esterdahl

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