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Restaurant Water Damage Recovery
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
After a water damage incident, it may not be safe to re-enter the affected area or establishment. Wet equipment poses electrocution hazards. If the restaurant has been flooded and gas lines were damaged, fire hazards will be a major concern in the building.
In such cases, the safest course of action is to have the establishment checked by professional technicians and authorities and re-enter only when advised to do so. The following are other important reminders when reentering a water-damaged restaurant:
- Leave the premises at once if there is any sign of a gas leak like the smell of gas or a hissing sound. Contact the local fire department or the gas utility company.
- Do not turn on the restaurantís main gas valve. Leave this task to a licensed technician.
- Do not operate water-damaged gas or electrical equipment and hot water systems or turn on electrical facilities (outlets, switch box and circuit breaker panel) until they have been checked by qualified utility technicians.
- Do not operate any water-damaged equipment used in the restaurant operations until the equipment has been professionally cleaned and disinfected.
- As much as possible, avoid walking through standing water which likely contains harmful contaminants.
- Check for pests like rodents and cockroaches.
When it comes to cleaning up water damage, keep in mind that wet physical structures must be cleaned and dried thoroughly as quickly as possible to prevent bacterial development and mold growth. However, cleanup of the premises can only start if there is safe water supply available and of the waste disposal system is functioning. It is strongly recommended to hire a professional water damage cleanup company that can quickly handle the restoration process from start to finish.
Damaged Food Supplies
Make a careful evaluation of which foods to throw away. Don't rely on the food's odor or appearance when deciding whether or not a food is safe for consumption. All foods and drinks that were exposed to contaminated water must be disposed of, except for commercially-prepared food items contained in airtight retort packages and all-metal cans.
If you're uncertain, it's safer to discard the food than risk getting yourself or someone else sick. Place all damaged foods in plastic garbage bags and tie the bags securely. Put them into dumpsters and make sure the lids are shut tight to keep out scavenging animals. Contact a garbage disposal contractor or the local dumpsite officials for instructions on discarding large quantities of food.
Foods to be discarded should be documented properly for insurance purposed and regulatory records. Take note of the type, amount and dollar value loss of each damaged food item as well as the specific reason for disposal.
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