After the Fire: What Do You Do?
You have had a fire/smoke event at your home or business. The fire department has left, and it is time for you to go back in and assess the damage. When you go back inside you may see black, heavy soot covering everything, with part of your home destroyed by fire; or you may be pleasantly surprised to see very little soot and just have a very strong smell throughout your building. In either scenario, it is what you cannot see that is most dangerous.
The soot and smoke left behind may contain many dangerous substances that can affect your health quickly or a little at a time over many years. Toxic volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) go through an off-gassing process after the fire is extinguished that can last for years if left alone. Dioxins are also very dangerous, they “are formed when products containing carbon and chlorine are burned, such as plastics containing PVC. Even in picograms (parts per trillion), dioxins are associated with severe health damage that can shorten the lives of people exposed to it, and potentially that of their offspring and future generations. The genetic effects may skip a generation and reappear in subsequent generations...according to researcher Joe Thornton,...”There is no safe level of dioxin exposure.”” (Sean Scott, Toxic Exposure; Restoration and Remediation Magazine)
Gases and particulates in the air can be poisonous and exposure to particles leads to nearly 20,000 premature deaths in America every year. Soot particles are ultrafine, less than half of the size of a red blood cell, so they can pass directly into the bloodstream when inhaled.
These dangers as well as countless other gases, chemicals and dusts are caused by the wide variety of products found in your home or business. Plastics, chemicals, electronics, fabrics, fiberglass, wood, adhesives, alloys, food, medicines and all the other things you come into contact with every day pose different health risks when burned, melted or heated.
For these reasons it is very important to have your home or business professionally cleaned and restored by a qualified fire remediation company. While our crews use specials techniques and chemicals to clean up your property, our equipment is running around the clock, cleaning the air in your home to make sure that it is safe for you and your family, or co-workers to return when we are done.
If you ever need our services after a smoke or fire event; from emergency board-up immediately after, through the cleaning and restoration process; call Masterclean at 715-748-3121.
Fires in the Workplace, Causes and How To Prevent Them
In addition to being very dangerous, fires in the workplace can be very costly due to damages as well as down time and loss of production for the business. There are 115,000 structure fires in non-residential properties annually, resulting in $3.1 billion in direct property damage each year according to research done by the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA). As is also the case with fires in the home, the leading cause of fires in the workplace is cooking equipment, followed by fires caused by electrical and lighting equipment.
Every workplace is different; some have higher fire risks than others. However, many of the same general precautions can be taken to prevent fires and to limit the damage caused by fires if one is to break out.
Here are some basic fire prevention tips that apply to most workplaces:
Visit OSHA.gov to find out if your workplace is in compliance with their standards.
Remember that if your workplace experiences a fire or a smoke event, call Master Clean in Medford to bring you back to the highest standards of clean and safety as quickly as possible to minimize downtime and lost revenue. Call 715-748-3121.
What really causes house fires, and the best ways to prevent them.
The month of October is Fire Prevention month, and the week of October 7-13 is Fire Prevention Week. This is a week that fire departments around the country team up with the NFPA, National Fire Prevention Association, and go into schools to teach children about fire safety, with the hopes that the information the children receive will make it back to the parents and educate them as well. The NFPA is the authority on fire statistics and prevention efforts in the United States.
Although we have come a very long way in fire prevention and safety awareness, and you are less likely to have a house fire than you were decades ago; if you are in a fire, you are more likely to die from it now than you were decades ago. For these reasons, we are going to share with you the leading causes of fire in the home and the best ways to prevent them.
Cooking equipment is the number 1 cause of fires in the home, followed by heating equipment. Annually, there are around 56,000 house fires started by heating equipment, causing over $1 billion in property damage according to the NFPA and resulting in 1 in every 5 home fire deaths. The NFPA has also found that the leading cause of ignition home fires caused by heating equipment is failure to clean. However, the leading cause of fatal home heating fires is improperly placed, or installed space heaters.
According to NFPA statistics, the next most common sources of home fires are faulty electrical and lighting, arson and smoking materials. Nearly 16,000 fires each year are caused by washers and dryers and the majority of those fires are caused by the dryer and the failure to clean and maintain it.
Without proper care, many things in the home can be potentially deadly fire hazards. However, there are simple steps and precautions that can greatly reduce these hazards and keep you, your family, and your home safe from fire.
First and foremost, ⅗ of home fire related deaths occurred due to the absence of a working smoke detector according to NFPA statistics. It is recommended that smoke detectors are placed in each bedroom, outside of each sleeping area, and on each level of the home. Smoke detectors should also be checked regularly to make sure they are working.
Cooking equipment should be cleaned of spilled grease or oil, kept clear of clutter and should never be left unattended. Clean chimneys, vents, ducts and furnaces before heating season and keep clutter and combustibles away from these areas as well as space heaters. Inspect cords and plugs on electrical equipment and dispose of those that are damaged or improper. Also, be sure to keep dryers and dryer vents clean and unobstructed. And always have electrical repairs, updates and additions done by a licensed professional.
Keep these things in mind as we head into home heating season to keep you and your family safe this heating season. If you would like to have your heating ducts or dryer vents professionally cleaned before the heating season kicks into high gear, contact Master Clean of Medford soon, 715-748-3121.