With insured damages in state wildfires estimated at $12.4 billion, residents are left with contaminated properties that could cause serious issues if not properly cleaned up and tested for clearance by a third-party CIH Certified Industrial Hygienists.
Malibu, CA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 04/03/2019 --Sure, the wildfires that recently caused California residents billions of dollars in property damage are out. For that, everyone can breathe a sigh of relief. However, disaster management company Strategic Response Partners says, the breath shouldn't be too deep. Thousands of families and business owners affected by the fires should be aware that dangerous toxin exposure abounds just by living and working in and around older buildings that recently burned that may have contained aluminum windows, asbestos, lead, and other industrial chemicals that may have blown up into the air and spread to adjoining properties and may now contaminated with a "tiny" hidden carcinogenic intruder. It's called particulate matter and though it's less than 2.5 micrometers in size, the larger concern is what this particulate matter is made up of that can further complicate health issues. Especially toxic for children, the elderly, and those with heart or lung diseases, these airborne toxins comprise a danger zone all their own. So much so, their related deaths are reported to be comparable to those caused by traffic accidents. And, while offending companies keep options open, like filing bankruptcy just so they don't have to pay nearly $11.4 billion in claims, the potential for ongoing health concerns is not something that can be negotiated.
Having a closer look at the 1,893,913 acres and 20,200 structures that burned down in California, Licensed Public Insurance Adjuster, Jeffrey Major from Skyline Adjusters said of the ongoing danger, "Just because you don't smell smoke doesn't mean your home or business isn't contaminated. People may not be aware of the dangerous levels of carcinogens, cyanide, and other harmful toxins in the soot that settles in structures. Schools, daycare centers, churches, shopping centers, and hospitals are all buildings at risk."
Everyone has heard smoke inhalation is deadly but, what about smoke's residue? Smoke is made up of particles, liquids, and gaseous compounds not typically visible to the naked eye. Wildfires produce tons of this particulate matter every minute they burn, and that seeps into structures even with closed windows and doors as buildings breathe. These toxic specks settle in landscaping, run through rain gutters, get buried in drapes, carpets, and gather on bookshelves. Burnt fire embers settle on rooftops that could cause leaks; ash is found in attic spaces, inside siding panels, indoor and outdoor insulation, ventilation systems, heating, electrical and air-conditioning units, electronics, appliances, mattresses, pillows, couches and even clothing.
"Every time a contaminated television fan, heater, or refrigerator is running, or a bed is slept on, particulate matter is re-entrained into the air we breathe. This potentially deadly airborne substance enters the body and makes its way into the lungs where it can do the worst damage," stated Major.
Health hazards include:
- Aggravated asthma
- Respiratory issues
- Chronic bronchitis
- Decreased lung function
- Lung cancer
- Premature death
- Eye irritation
- Nasal passage and sinus irritation
- Throat and bronchi irritation
- Increased mucus and nasal congestion
"The first step to remedy this situation is to have property thoroughly tested and a smoke remediation protocol written by the third party Certified Industrial Hygienist before remediation is undertaken. A restoration contractor that is IICRC Certified in Smoke and Ash Remediation should closely follow the protocol outlined by the environmental consultant and set up proper containment in order to correctly remediate the property without further cross contaminating the unaffected areas. Then, once the remediation is completed by the restoration contractor, the Certified Industrial Hygienists should revisit the property and verify that the cleaning protocol was followed and a clearance report issued that no contaminants exist," reported Major.
Highly-recommended in such cases, Strategic Response Partners, Inc. (SRP) provides expert consulting services that include inspecting, testing, cleaning, and restoring fire and smoke damaged structures. Following the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) guidelines for proper cleanup procedures, the company encourages wildfire survivors to hire a Certified Industrial Hygienists to create a baseline or at the very least obtain a clearance certificate to occupy the property.
For more information about how Strategic Response Partners can help to ensure a complete and successful recovery contact them at (888) 582-5848 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read their Wildfire Case Studies Page at https://srp24.com/california-wildfires/.
About Strategic Response Partners
Specializing in smoke and ash remediation guidelines, Strategic Response Partners has been in the disaster planning to response and recovery industry for the past 30 years. The company's Managing Partner, Steve Selleck is also a founding member and board advisor for the American Policyholders Association a consumer watchdog group that fights against Insurance fraud - American Policyholders Association at https://apassociation.org/.
Managing Partner, Strategic Response Partners