Carbon materials danger
Fire of all shapes and sizes produce a tremendous amount of destruction and material consequence. With the ever growing reach of the California “fire season” and on-going range of wildfires, land and structure damage and loss is at an all-time high. One of the unexpected and ever growing concerns is the environmental consequence of toxic chemicals and the complications created when carbon building materials are burned. The overall developing concern is that many building materials are widely considered to be a sustainable alternative to materials of the past. However, what is coming to light is that these materials, carbon based, are in fact releasing toxic gasses and particles when burned. The level of health and sustainability seems to be sliding down the scale.
As carbon building materials are so readily available and so commonly used, the residual dangers arise if those materials are involved in a structure fire and in turn are not cleaned, eliminated and the building restored properly and professionally. If these toxic materials are not treated with the appropriate sense of urgency and care, the dangers to human exposure can be catastrophic. When burned, carbon materials release particles and gasses such as nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen, ammonia and tar. All elements known widely to be overwhelmingly dangerous to human contact.
In many of these situations, the dangers can go fairly unseen. The general public can easily be put at risk through a series of events that were completely unrelated to them directly. When the toxic gasses are released from a fire immediately the particles become airborne and additionally the toxic elements can become embedded in the neighboring ground and water supply , polluting the entire surrounding system. These are elements that cannot go unchecked and unattended. Immediate and urgent assessment and restoration is crucial.
While we know that all smoke is dangerous to breathe, it is also important to know how and why the levels of toxicity occur when something seemingly “normal” was used in the construction of a building. Smoke is a mixture of chemicals and particles produced by incomplete burning of carbon based materials. It’s the remaining materials left from a fire that create the largest problem. The resulting smoke from a structure fire is oftentimes very concentrated and easily poses more of an immediate health concern to anyone that may breathe it in. It is the chemical compound of carbon based materials that is creating the problem. This is all the more reason to treat fire restoration with the utmost urgency. The materials left behind are easily the most toxic and dangerous element of all.
While no two fires are identical just as no two structures are identical, the finished product of a quality fire restoration process involves leaving the structure as it was or just as close to what it was before the fire even happened. As the building materials continue to evolve for the betterment of the environment, the immediate goal is to mitigate any surrounding exposure and danger, while erasing all footprints of the incident. A tall order in an area that is highly prone to fire dangers but an order that is accomplished nonetheless by the most skilled restoration professionals available.