Safety Guidance Provided on Critical Topics including Safe Use of Portable Generators to Avoid Carbon Dioxide Poisoning
NORTHBROOK, IL, November 2, 2012 – UL (Underwriters Laboratories), a world leader in advancing safety, offers critical safety information for post-hurricane Sandy recovery in the areas of:
- Portable generator safety
- Flood damage
- Contamination by foodborne illness
Using portable generators safely to avoid carbon dioxide poisoning and electrocution:
Managing and evaluating water-damaged materials.
- Remove porous materials, such as carpet, drywall, ceiling tiles and pressed wood furnishings immediately.
If damaged by floodwaters, these items must be removed because of the chemicals and bacteria carried in floodwaters. Remove these items as your first step.
- Evaluate semi-porous materials, such as framing lumber as it may be salvaged by scrubbing and pressure washing.
- Set aside non-porous items such as solid countertops and flooring for cleaning later.
They may be restored with soap and water then sanitized if needed. It’s important to clean while these materials are still wet versus letting them dry out and making them wet again. Also, clean before sanitizing, as sanitizers are not effective on soiled surfaces.
- To prevent mold and moisture issues, the drying process must be underway within 72 hours of cleaning.
Materials damaged by rainwater or burst pipes may be retained only if the structure of the material is not compromised and the materials are effectively dried out within 48 hours.
- Water damage is cheaper to repair than mold damage; water damage turns to mold damage in three to seven days.
- Mold can be destructive to the internal structure of the building and may eat away at it for months or years until it is too late to save the structure.
On first glance, surfaces with mold growth may seem like they need only a quick scrub of some cleaner to fix, but in reality, mold growth can be much more than just a cosmetic issue.
- Mold also can be a health hazard.
Exposure to mold spores and other components of mold colonies may trigger respiratory illnesses such as asthma and allergies.
Avoiding foodborne illness.
- If food looks or smells bad, discard it.
“When in doubt, throw it out.”
- Dispose any food directly in contact with flood waters.
If food comes directly in contact with flood waters, discard it to prevent microbiological, chemical, and/or physical contamination. Sewage and other bacteriological waste may be present in flood water as can chemical contamination from household chemicals, automotive fluids, and agricultural materials such as fertilizers and garden pesticides.
- Use a thermometer.
When deciding what to keep, use a cleaned and sanitized probe thermometer to measure the internal temperature of perishable foods, such as meat, poultry, fish, milk, and leftovers.
For more information, please visit: www.ul.com.