What should I do if a pipe bursts?
If a pipe bursts, the extent of damage caused to your home can escalate very quickly. Immediate action is required to limit the amount of damage.
If it is possible, try to catch as much of the water with a bucket. If the water is pooling in the ceiling or the wall, poke a hole in the drywall so the water can drained into the bucket instead of bursting through and gushing out everywhere. After you've done your best to direct the flow of water, you need to locate the stop tap and shut it off. Typically, it can be found at the bottom of the hot water tank. You may want to leave a pair of pliers there, as this tap can be extremely difficult to turn. Once the water is off, you may want to drain all the taps and flush the toilets so that there is no more water in the pipes.
Now that the pipes are empty and the water is stopped, this is a good time to shut off the elctricity if the water had been pouring out near an outlet or eletrical switch.
Once you have limited the hazards, you will want to keep the area ventilated by keeping all the doors and windows open. However, you should take note that simply opening up the windows and doors will not be sufficient in preventing the growth of mold and mildew. This will require commercial grade ventilation systems to thoroughly dry out the area.