We all know that you need to be as far away from a burning building as possible. Did you know that the area can still be quite dangerous long after the flames and smoke are no longer visible? The invisible danger comes from the soot and the toxic chemicals left behind by the fire. Protect everyone in your Mount Vernon, MO business with thorough smoke cleanup by ServiceMaster DSI.
The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) states that the majority of fire-related deaths are caused by smoke inhalation. Smoke is a health hazard because of the chemicals created from burning carbon-based materials. These toxins may include carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, phosgene, and other dangerous compounds produced during the fire. Fire also creates harmful soot that contains carcinogens. Because soot is tiny and light-weight, it can travel quickly throughout the entire building and into hard-to-clean spaces.
Inhaling soot-polluted air can quickly damage your lungs, leading to asthma, lung cancer, and similar respiratory illnesses. It’s best to avoid entering a smoke-damaged room until smoke cleanup can be completed. If you have to enter the room, wear a respirator designed specifically to filter and remove harmful particulates and chemicals, and minimize the time you spend inside. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) provides this detailed guide for choosing an approved respirator for your workplace. Be sure that your employees are trained to use respirators before they need to use them.
It takes a professional restoration service to complete a thorough smoke cleanup effort using professional-grade equipment. That doesn’t mean you can’t get a head start. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) recommends the following steps:
- Enter the room only if you have the right safety and cleaning materials on hand. Protect yourself with a safety mask and work gloves. If at all possible, choose cleaning supplies that are designed to clean smoke and soot.
- Create proper ventilation. Your goal is to get the dangerous soot particles out. We suggest using box fans in open windows that will push the soot and contaminated air to the outside.
- Remove all washable fabrics for laundering or dry-cleaning. Use an alkaline-based cleaner to combat the acidic nature of soot. You may want to take delicate materials to a dry-cleaner who specializes in smoke-damaged items.
- Clean the entire room from top to bottom with soap and hot water. Start at the ceiling and work all the way down to the floor. Be sure to thoroughly clean every cabinet, countertop, and corner as you work your way down.
Your employees and customers deserve to return to a safe and healthy business. Create a healthy working environment after fire threatens the health of your Mount Vernon, MO company with the help of ServiceMaster DSI and our smoke cleanup services. Call us today at 888-868-6601 for immediate peace of mind.