Seattle, WA, February 13th
The Kent Reporter
recently published an article about a two-alarm fire that took place at a large apartment complex outside of Seattle. The fire is reported to have been contained to just several units, but the smoke and water damage it created has displaced residents from approximately 90 apartments until the building can be properly repaired.
This case is a reminder that even a relatively small fire in a multi-tenant building can have a far-reaching impact on all of the people that live or work in the same building. Fires typically create a tremendous amount of smoke that can easily travel throughout multiple floors and units of a structure. This smoke is made up of a number of combustion by-products that include ash, soot, char and other materials. Inside a building, this smoke will leave behind odors and residues which can cause corrosion, etching and discoloration that can get worse over time.
Another issue is water damage from fire suppression efforts. In a building, water can impact large areas of the structure as it seeks its way to the lowest level. This type of water damage can be visible, but also often occurs out of sight behind walls, ceilings, cabinets and under floors. Moisture that remains for more than 48 hours will often result in the growth of mold. Once mold begins to grow, even when it is in areas that are not visible, it can impact the indoor environmental quality (IEQ) of the building.
“If these issues are not properly addressed, returning residents may encounter smoke residues, unpleasant odors and mold,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “In many buildings that have been damaged and must undergo repairs, the possible presence of lead-based paints and asbestos-containing materials are additional health and safety issues. If not identified and handled properly, these materials could aerosolize during repairs and become a threat to workers and building occupants.”
EMSL Analytical, Inc. has dozens of laboratories across North America and offer testing services for smoke residues, mold, odors, lead, asbestos and other potentially hazardous materials. EMSL provides all of the sampling supplies necessary and offers easy-to-use indoor environmental quality test kits and inspection tools.
To learn more about testing a property for smoke and water damage, odors, mold, asbestos, lead or other indoor air quality (IAQ) and environmental issues, please visit www.EMSL.com
, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com
. For access to IEQ test kits, visit www.EMSLTestKits.com
.About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with 46 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella
, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com
for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.