A fire in your home can have devastating emotional effects on you and your family. When it’s your place of business, a fire can cause catastrophic loss ultimately impacting your bottom line. More importantly, fires can leave behind hazardous materials that create serious health risks. Most people often don’t realize what combustion byproducts are involved beyond just the visual smoke damage. Therefore, it’s very important and highly recommended to call a professional for proper mitigation and complete Fire & Smoke damage restoration of your property.
Hazardous Building Materials After a Fire?
Residential and commercial structures are composed of materials that may release or break down into hazardous substances when burned. These materials include synthetics, petroleum products, treated wood, adhesives, and metals. Items within residential and commercial buildings are also composed of hazardous materials, or they become hazardous once burned. Such items and materials include electronics, appliances, batteries, vehicles, household chemicals, pesticides, and herbicides.
After a fire, the remaining ash, debris, and underlying soil will all be contaminated with hazardous substances. Because contaminated ash, debris, and underlying soil may look the same as uncontaminated material, the lurking dangers may not be obvious.
Health Hazards After a Fire
Numerous health hazards are typically associated with combustion byproduct particulate in the aftermath of a fire. This includes the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), metals, chlorinated products (such as dioxin), and respirable particulate, among many others. For this reason, dermal contact with the settled particulate is not recommended. Respiratory protection is necessary where airborne hazards exist, such as during the process of cleaning/mitigation or any other activity that will disturb the settled particulate. In addition to health hazards, combustion byproduct particulate can be corrosive and cause damage to building structures, mechanical systems, electrical systems and other components.
What Should I Do After a Fire?
For health purposes, it is important to keep the affected area undisturbed following a fire. The first thing to do is have Combustion byproduct and asbestos testing performed by a professional to determine what hazardous materials and byproducts exist in the affected structure.
Has your home of place of business suffered from a loss or been affected by a fire? If so, the ServiceMaster Restoration by David team is here to help. We provide testing for hazardous materials and will help you with a complete Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration of your property. Reach out to us today.