Nothing can be more devastating to a home or business than a fire. We understand the loss of personal effects and/or business records can be traumatic. With ProGuard Environmental Services our job is to return your property back to a pre-loss condition as quickly as possible. It is with compassion, professionalism, and a sense of urgency that we address the immediate needs associated with safety and security of your property. Once those immediate challenges are met, it’s critical that the cleaning process start immediately.
Understanding the Effects of Fire and SmokeMuch like water damage, fire and smoke damage gets worse with time. While fire is always the immediate danger, and its results quite apparent, what it leaves behind will continue to have devastating effects on your property if not properly and quickly addressed. Ash, smoke, and soot residues, if left unchecked, will cause extensive corrosion, etching and discoloration, not to mention lingering powerful odors. They are acidic in nature and will quickly deteriorate even the hardest surfaces.
Types of Smoke Residue and Their Cleanup Requirements
Wet Smoke Residues
- Result from water being used to extinguish the fire from either the fire department, a sprinkler system, or from smoldering fires with low heat. Residues are smeary and have a pungent smoke and musty odor and usually require wet cleaning to be removed.
Dry Smoke Residues
- Result from a fire source that is more combustible or fast burning, such as wood, and burns at higher temperatures. These residues can also be caused by a furnace puff back. Residues are often dry, powdery, small, non-smeary smoke particles that require a dry cleaning process before wet cleaning and are the easiest to remove.
Oily Smoke Residues
- Result from grease fire, burned plastic, fuel oil furnace back-up from heavy nicotine build-up before the fire damage even occurred. This type of soot is smeary and usually requires additional cleaning steps to remove. This type of soot is resistant to water-based cleaning.
Protein Smoke Residues
- Result from burned meat, poultry, or eggs. They are virtually invisible residues that can penetrate into all surfaces including paints, floor coverings, wood, and plastics causing an extreme pungent odor. This is the most difficult odor to eliminate.
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
- Smoke flows around plumbing systems, using holes around pipes to go from floor to floor.
- Smoke will migrate into all areas of a home or business and will carry their corresponding odor into those areas.
Fire Classifications and Their Fuel RequirementsThe importance of fire classification is understanding the fuel source and the resulting type of smoke residue. Again, this will dictate the course of action for cleaning. Assessment by a professional is critical in providing the most timely and cost-effective solution. There are three (3) common fire classifications and two (2) specialty classifications. Each require different fuel sources, deposit different smoke residues, and mandate different cleaning protocols. They are:
- CLASS A (Common Combustibles): Class A fires involve common combustibles such as wood, paper, cloth, rubber, trash, and plastics. They are common in typical commercial and home settings but can occur anywhere these types of materials are found.
- CLASS B (Flammable Liquids): Class B fires involve flammable liquids, gases, solvents, oil, gasoline, paint, lacquers, tars, and other synthetic or oil-based products. Class B fires often spread rapidly, and, unless properly secured, can reflash after the flames are extinguished.
- CLASS C (Electrical): Class C fires involve energized electrical equipment, such as wiring, controls, motors, data processing panels, or appliances. They can be caused by a spark, power surge, or short circuit and typically occur in locations that are difficult to reach and see.
- CLASS D (Combustible Metals): Class D fires involve combustible metals such as magnesium and sodium. Combustible metal fires are unique industrial hazards which require special dry powder agents.
- CLASS K (Grease Fire): Class K fires involve combustible cooking media such as oils and grease commonly found in commercial kitchens. The new cooking media formulations used for commercial food preparation require a special wet chemical extinguishing agent that is specially suited for extinguishing and suppressing these extremely hot fires that have the ability to reflash.
The Restoration ProcessFire damage restoration may vary depending on the type, severity, and location of the fire, but typically the steps taken by ProGuard Environmental Services Professionals in restoring your property to a pre-loss condition are very similar. They would include:
- Provide a safe and secure environment for all parties involved.
- A thorough assessment of your property to evaluate the extent of the damage, and, with your guidance, determine what will be salvaged and what discarded. Great care will be taken to guard the sentiments associated with personal belongings.
- A customized fire and water damage restoration plan will be created. Our goal is to minimize any inconvenience to you and maximize the result of the restoration process. A spirit of honest and open communication will underpin this process.
- Professionals specifically trained and certified in Fire and Water restoration will begin the process of debris removal, drying, cleaning, deodorizing, and repairing.
- Specialized cleaning agents and techniques will be incorporated along with equipment utilized for structural drying, dehumidification, HEPA air filtration, and deodorization.