It’s the Law!

Federal law requires that individuals receive certain information before renovating six square feet or more of painted surfaces in a room for interior projects or more than twenty square feet of painted surfaces for exterior projects in housing, child care facilities and schools built before 1978.

  • Homeowners and tenants: renovators must give you this pamphlet before starting work.
  • Child care facilities, including preschools and kindergarten classrooms, and the families of children under the age of six that attend those facilities: renovators must provide a copy of this pamphlet to child-care facilities and general renovation information to families whose children attend those facilities.

Also, beginning April 2010, federal law will require contractors that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities and schools, built before 1978 to be certified and follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. Therefore beginning in April 2010, ask to see your contractor’s certification.

The Facts About Lead

  • Lead can affect children’s brains and developing nervous systems, causing reduced IQ,
    learning disabilities, and behavioral problems. Lead is also harmful to adults.
  • Lead in dust is the most common way people are exposed to lead. People can also get lead
    in their bodies from lead in soil or paint chips. Lead dust is often invisible.
  • Lead-based paint was used in more than 38 million homes until it was banned for residential
    use in 1978.
  • Projects that disturb lead-based paint can create dust and endanger you and your family.
    Don’t let this happen to you. Follow the practices described in this pamphlet to protect you and your
    family.

Lead is especially dangerous to children under six years of age.

Lead can affect children’s brains and developing nervous systems, causing:

  • Reduced IQ and learning disabilities.
  • Behavior problems.

Even children who appear healthy can have dangerous levels of lead in their bodies.

Lead is also harmful to adults. In adults, low levels of lead can pose many dangers, including:

  • High blood pressure and hypertension.
  • Pregnant women exposed to lead can transfer lead to their fetus.

Lead gets into the body when it is swallowed or inhaled.

  • People, especially children, can swallow lead dust as they eat, play, and do other normal
    hand-to-mouth activities.
  • People may also breathe in lead dust or fumes if they disturb lead-based paint. People who
    sand, scrape, burn, brush or blast or otherwise disturb lead-based paint risk unsafe exposure to lead.

What should I do if I am concerned about my family’s exposure to lead?

  • Call your local health department for advice on reducing and eliminating exposures to lead inside and outside your home, child care facility or school.
  • Always use lead-safe work practices when renovation or repair will disturb lead-based paint.
  • A blood test is the only way to find out if you or a family member already has lead poisoning.

Call your doctor or local health department to arrange for a blood test.
For more information about the health effects of exposure to lead call 1-800-424-LEAD (5323).

WHAT TO DO BEFORE A FIRE

The following are things you can do to protect yourself, your family, and your property in the event of a fire:

Smoke Alarms

  • Install smoke alarms. Properly working smoke alarms decrease your chances of dying in a fire by half.
  • Place smoke alarms on every level of your residence. Place them outside bedrooms on the ceiling or high on the wall (4 to 12 inches from ceiling), at the top of open stairways, or at the bottom of enclosed stairs and near (but not in) the kitchen.
  • Test and clean smoke alarms once a month and replace batteries at least once a year. Replace smoke alarms once every 10 years.

Escaping the Fire

  • Review escape routes with your family. Practice escaping from each room.
  • Make sure windows are not nailed or painted shut. Make sure security gratings on windows have a fire safety opening feature so they can be easily opened from the inside.
  • Consider escape ladders if your residence has more than one level, and ensure that burglar bars and other antitheft mechanisms that block outside window entry are easily opened from the inside.
  • Teach family members to stay low to the floor (where the air is safer in a fire) when escaping from a fire.

Flammable Items

  • Never use gasoline, benzene, naphtha, or similar flammable liquids indoors.
  • Store flammable liquids in approved containers in well-ventilated storage areas.
  • Never smoke near flammable liquids.
  • Discard all rags or materials that have been soaked in flammable liquids after you have used them. Safely discard them outdoors in a metal container.
  • Insulate chimneys and place spark arresters on top. The chimney should be at least three feet higher than the roof. Remove branches hanging above and around the chimney.
  • Clean out storage areas. Do not let trash, such as old rags, newspapers and magazines, accumulate.

Heating Sources

  • Be careful when using alternative heating sources.
  • Check with your local fire department on the legality of using kerosene heaters in your community. Be sure to fill kerosene heaters outside, and be sure they have cooled before storing.
  • Place heaters at least three feet away from flammable materials. Make sure the floor and nearby walls are properly insulated.
  • Use only the type of fuel designated for your unit and follow manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Store ashes in a metal container outside and away from your residence.
  • Keep open flames away from walls, furniture, drapery, and flammable items.
  • Keep a screen in front of the fireplace.
  • Have heating units inspected and cleaned annually by a certified specialist.

Matches and Smoking

  • Keep matches and lighters up high, away from children, and, if possible, in a locked cabinet.
  • Never smoke in bed or when drowsy or medicated. Provide smokers with deep, sturdy ashtrays. Douse cigarette and cigar butts with water before disposal.

Electrical Wiring

  • Have the electrical wiring in your residence checked by an electrician.
  • Inspect extension cords for frayed or exposed wires or loose plugs.
  • Make sure outlets have cover plates and no exposed wiring.
  • Make sure wiring does not run under rugs, over nails, or across high-traffic areas.
  • Do not overload extension cords or outlets. If you need to plug in two or three appliances, get a UL-approved unit with built-in circuit breakers to prevent sparks and short circuits.
  • Make sure insulation does not touch bare electrical wiring.

Other

  • Sleep with your door closed.
  • Install A-B-C type fire extinguishers in your residence and teach family members how to use them.
  • Consider installing an automatic fire sprinkler system in your residence.
  • Ask your local fire department to inspect your residence for fire safety and prevention.

Additional Details

Ten Things You Should Know About Mold

  1. Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints.
  2. There is no practical way to eliminate all molds and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
  3. If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
  4. Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
  5. Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60% ) to decrease mold growth by: venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside; using air conditioners and dehumidifiers; increasing ventilation; and using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning.
  6. Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
  7. Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.
  8. Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
  9. In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
  10. Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.

If you have IAQ and mold issues in your school, you should get a copy of the IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit. Mold is covered in the IAQ Reference Guide under Appendix H – Mold and Moisture.

What Is IICRC licensed?

The IICRC is the state recognized and insurance company approved organization that provides the certification needed to perform structure drying. To become certified all individuals need to attend training courses and pass an exam. All licensed water technicians need to attend continuing education courses to keep updated on the new products and procedures to cure water damage in buildings.

Make sure you use an IICRC licensed company to protect you investment!

Because we are IICRC* licensed, all of our work is recognized by your insurance company.

We bill your insurance direct for our services. We can negotiate your loss for you; while keeping your best interests in mind and freeing your time so you can get back to your business.

Need More Information?

We are committed to staying up to date on the latest in disaster restoration. Here are some current articles about mold and the importance of proper removal.

www.fema.gov