GTA Restoration urges you to take all necessary precautions, especially when you are not at home. There are a few simple things you should check before leaving your home, apartment, or place of business for an extended period of time. When you go on vacation, turn off the water to your washer while you’re out of town. Many homeowners have returned from vacation to find their washer hoses have burst, flooding their homes.
Inspect pipes and fittings each year. Just as you change the batteries in your smoke detector each year, you should take a few minutes to inspect around your water heater, washer, dishwasher, sinks, lavatories and refrigerator icemaker. If hoses indicate wear, replace them. Consider replacing hoses to major appliances such as your washer and dishwasher every two to five years. Steel hoses have been shown to have a longer lifespan than other models.
Know where your water shutoff valve is located and be sure that the entire family knows how to shut off household water supplies in the event of a sudden pipe or hose break. Never leave the house with appliances, such as dishwashers, washers or dyers, still operating.
Safety First! Dangers may still exist even when the fire is extinguished. Do not endanger yourself or your family after a fire event. Keep children and pets away. Try to protect yourself and your family from stress, fatigue, and fire-related health hazards such as smoke and dust particles.
Determine Structural Stability – Determine whether your property is structurally safe to enter. Before entering your home or business, take a look and try to detect hot spots that can flare up without warning. Avoid damaged or fallen power poles or lines, and downed wires. Electric wires may shock people or cause further fires. Keep in mind that power poles may have lost stability due to fire damage. Watch for ash pits and mark them for safety. Ash pits are holes full of hot ashes, created by burned trees and stumps. If you cannot be certain the building is safe or if you have any question regarding personal safety, stay out and have a professional make an assessment.
Check the roof and extinguish any sparks or embers to prevent them from re-igniting. If your property is determined unsafe and you cannot live in your home while repairs are being made, make arrangements for temporary alternate lodging. Keep records of all additional expenses incurred as a result. Most insurance policies will cover additional living expenses. If the building is determined safe, walk in carefully and inspect indoor stability. Use caution and exercise good judgment when re-entering a burned building.