Recent flooding in parts of England has brought the issue of flooding and what to do in the event of a flood to the fore once again. In this article, Accident Advice Helpline takes a look at how to safely handle chemicals upon returning to flooded premises.
Wear protective clothing
As always, it is important to wear protective clothing when handling chemicals and in the case of a flood it is no exception. Although flood water may have diluted the chemicals to a large degree, there is still a risk of contamination and protective gloves should be worn at all times and contact with the eyes and skin avoided. Protective clothing can also help reduce the chances of a slip, trip or fall upon returning to recently flooded premises.
Avoid enclosed areas
Avoid enclosed areas that may be chemically contaminated, such as garages and cellars where hazardous fumes may have built up. If you have to enter an enclosed area, ensure it is ventilated before entering and is not accessible to children and animals.
Do not use electrical appliances
You should not switch on electrical appliances which have been in contact with flood water unless an electrician has checked them, due to significant risk of electrocution. Your local Electricity Board will be checking mains supplies.
Cleaning all surfaces
You should scrub all hard surfaces with a mixture of hot water and ordinary detergent. This should not be mixed with any chlorine based products such as bleach as this may cause harmful fumes to be released into the air. You must wash your hands thoroughly with a mixture of soap and warm water in order to remove any contaminants on your skin and reduce the chances of infection or bacteria spreading.
Remove contaminated items
You should make an inventory of all items that may have became contaminated by flood water and chemicals. Discard the items that have become contaminated and produce any evidence of this to your insurer.
Thank you for reading Accident Advice Helpline’s guide on handling chemicals upon returning to flooded premises. Remember, if you’ve suffered an accident as the result of flooding or contact with chemicals within the last three years and it wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to claim compensation. Contact Accident Advice Helpline today for more information on their 24/7 helpline – 0800 689 0500.
Date Published: May 1, 2014
Author: Accident Advice