Cleanup Safety Tips

As the storm moves on, these tips can help keep you, your family and co-workers safe as you begin to put your home or business back in order:

Look before you step. The ground and floors could be covered with debris, including broken bottles and nails. Floors and stairs that have been covered with mud can be very slippery. When working in debris-strewn areas, be alert for shifting materials, holes and live electrical wires.

Turn off your electricity when you return to your home or business. Some appliances, such as television sets, can shock even after they have been unplugged. Don’t use appliances or motors that have gotten wet unless they have been taken apart, cleaned and dried.

Watch for animals, especially snakes. Small animals that have been flooded out of their homes may seek shelter in yours. Use a pole or stick to poke and turn items over and scare away small animals.

Be alert for gas leaks. Use a flashlight to inspect for damage. Don’t smoke or use candles, lanterns or open flames unless you are sure that the gas has been turned off and the area has been aired out. Carbon monoxide exhaust kills. Only use a generator or other gasoline-powered machine outdoors. The same goes for camping stoves. Fumes from charcoal are especially deadly — cook with charcoal only outdoors.

Clean everything that got wet. Flood waters pick up sewage and chemicals from roads, farms, factories and storage buildings.

When in doubt, throw it out. Spoiled food, flooded cosmetics and medicines are health hazards.

For more information and tips on cleanup safety visit: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/recover/cleanup.htm

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About Fairfax County Emergency Information

Official emergency information about preparedness, response and recovery from Fairfax County Government.