PLYMOUTH, MN —U.S. Products, makers of professional carpet and restoration equipment, have created a list of safety tips for industry professionals working in areas struck by flood disaster, according to a press release.

The company points to the University of Texas at Austin’s Advanced Computing Center’s prediction that “more intense and more frequent” storms will become prevalent throughout the U.S. due to climate change, and says the increase in business for industry professionals creates a need for a safety review.

According to the company, cleaning professionals should follow the following safety tips when working in flood disaster are:

  • Before entering a facility, look for loose power lines; note if you smell gas; look for foundation cracks or serious wall damage. If so, a building inspector or contractor should be called before entering.
  • Turn off all electricity; do so even if the power company has indicated power in the area is off.
  • If you smell gas, leave the facility immediately and call the gas company.
  • Enter carefully; if the door sticks it could mean it is supporting the ceiling or a frame which could collapse; if the door opens freely, wait outside the doorway in case debris falls.
  • Check the ceiling for signs of sagging. Wind, rain and flooding may wet plaster or wallboard, making them very heavy and dangerous if they fall.
  • If restoration work can begin, the first step is to remove flood water; this will require the use of electricity. Leave the power off except in the immediate work area.

“Deciding whether to replace or restore carpets after a flood can be a tough decision,” Bob Abrams, a carpet care expert for Nilfisk Advance, makers of U.S. Products equipment for the jan/san industry, said in the release. “Cleaning or replacing typically depends on the contamination level of the water and the length of time the carpet was saturated.”