Chimney fire (C) D Friedman Indoor Air, Gas, Odor or Mold Emergency?
What to Do & When to Hire a Professional
     

  • MOLD / ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERT, HIRE ? - home - CONTENTS: how to determine that it is appropriate to hire an expert to inspect or test a building for mold contamination or similar indoor environmental hazards
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about how to decide if a mold, odor or other indoor air emergency exists, what to do in an emergency, and how to determine if professional mold inspection & testing are needed
  • REFERENCES

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How to respond to an indoor air quality emergency in a building: this article describes four key actions to take in response to an actual or believed indoor air quality emergency: immediately seek expert assistance, get out of the affected areas of the building, ventilate the affected areas, and inform other building occupants of the hazard.

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Four Actions to Take in an Immediate Indoor Air Quality Emergency

Mold contamination (C) D FriedmanIf you believe that an indoor air quality or contamination emergency exists, get out of the building and seek professional help from emergency services such as dialing 911 from a telephone outside of and away from the building.

The US EPA IAQ Wheel offers these emergency steps for immediate action in an actual or suspected mold or building air emergency [expanded with comments - Ed]:

  1. Immediately seek medical or public health assistance (e.g. from local or state health department - suitable for mold and similar IAQ emergencies], [or in the case of carbon monoxide or other building gas hazards, or more broad building safety questions, your local fire department, emergency rescue services, or police department]
  2. Evacuate the affected areas, if warranted, and if feasible, take steps to limit or stop unsafe conditions [turn off dangerous heating equipment, shut water mains where plumbing supply pipes have burst];

    Watch out: IF YOU SUSPECT CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING GO INTO FRESH AIR IMMEDIATELY and get others out of the building, then call your fire department or emergency services for help.

    Watch out: IF YOU SUSPECT SEWER GAS or METHANE GAS HAZARDS do not operate electrical switches, cell phones, or light any flame - there may be an explosion hazard. Get others out of the building, then call your fire department or emergency services for help. Sewer gas contains methane gas (CH4) - is a risk of an explosion hazard or even fatal asphyxiation. [METHANE GAS HAZARDS].
  3. Ventilate the suspected areas: when appropriate, such as for carbon monoxide poisoning [first turn off the suspected equipment] or chemical spills, ventilate the affected areas with large amounts of outside air (use temporary fans if needed).
  4. Inform building occupants and parents of minors of the problem and maintain clear communications.

If you are not sure if a mold emergency exists

If you feel unsafe, follow the advice given above.

Additional information helpful in deciding if an emergency condition exists can be read at the links given below.

 

Continue reading at DEFINITION of MOLD EMERGENCY or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.

Or see MOLD / ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERT, HIRE ?

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IAQ EMERGENCY STEPS at InspectApedia.com - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.

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