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Fire Testing Services

Category Press Release
Publish Date 4/16/2020
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Even Small High-Rise Fires Can Create Future Health and Safety Concerns for Building Occupants
Introduction EMSL Analytical provides testing services, sampling supplies, test kits, air monitoring instruments and inspection tools to identify smoke residues, odors, mold, asbestos, lead and other potential exposure risks.

Chicago, Illinois, April 16th , 2020

Last month, there was a fire in one unit of a high-rise apartment building north of Chicago. The fire occurred on the 11th floor and was extinguished by the building’s sprinkler system and responding firefighters according to local media reports. Fortunately, no one was injured, but the unit where the fire took place and others in the high-rise suffered damage.

Water used to put out a fire in a high-rise apartment or office building can impact large areas of the building as the water seeks its way to the lowest level. A fire on the 11th floor could impact every floor below it. This type of water damage can be visible, but it can also occur behind walls, ceilings and under floors. Any moisture that remains for more than 48 hours could result in the growth of mold, impacting the indoor environmental quality (IEQ) of the building.

Smoke residues and odors are also a problem encountered in high-rise buildings after even a relatively small fire has taken place. Smoke residues are made up of a number of combustion by-products that may include ash, soot, char and other materials that can easily spread throughout a building. Smoke leaves behind odors and residues which can cause respiratory issues for building occupants as well as corrosion, etching and discoloration of surfaces within the property.

“Another concern in many buildings that have been damaged by fire is the possible presence of lead-based paints and asbestos-containing materials,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Any efforts to dry out and repair the building could aerosolize these materials if the proper safety precautions have not been implemented.”

The building science professionals at EMSL Analytical, Inc. can test for mold, smoke residues, odors, lead and asbestos to help minimize chances of workers and building occupants being exposed to it. With laboratories located across the United States and Canada, EMSL offers testing services for these and other potentially hazardous materials. They also provide all of the sampling supplies necessary, IEQ test kits, air monitoring instruments and building inspection tools.

To learn more about EMSL’s IEQ testing services, please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email To access indoor environmental quality test kits, visit

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 for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.
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