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

  • IAQ EMERGENCY STEPS - 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
InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website.

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.

Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved.

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 closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.



Suggested citation for this web page

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


Or use the SEARCH BOX found below to Ask a Question or Search InspectApedia


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Click to Show or Hide FAQs

Ask a Question or Search InspectApedia

Use the "Click to Show or Hide FAQs" link just above to see recently-posted questions, comments, replies, try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.

Search the InspectApedia website

Comment Box is loading comments...

Technical Reviewers & References

Click to Show or Hide Citations & References

Publisher's Google+ Page by Daniel Friedman