Huntington Beach, CA, November 19th, 2020
A fire recently broke out at an apartment complex located in Northern California. While firefighters were able to contain the flames to just one unit, at least eight apartments were damaged from smoke and water.
Fires in multifamily buildings are all too common according to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA). The USFA reports that from just 2013 to 2015, there were an estimated 109,000+ multifamily residential building fires reported to fire departments within the United States during each of those years. These fires accounted for 29% of all residential building fires.
Anytime there is a fire in a multifamily or multitenant complex there can be a tremendous amount of smoke that travels throughout the units and floors. This smoke is made up of a number of combustion by-products that include ash, soot, char and other materials. The smoke leaves behind odors and residues which can cause corrosion, etching and discoloration that can get worse over time.
Water damage from sprinklers and the efforts of firefighters can also impact large areas of the structure. As the water seeks its way to the lowest level, it can impact units next door and below where the fire took place. The moisture, if not properly removed in 48 hours or less, 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 just like the smoke can affect air quality with residues and odors,” said Joseph Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at LA Testing. “Even the process of repairing a fire damaged building can create IEQ issues. Many multifamily complexes still contain building materials made of asbestos, as well as lead-based paints which can become aerosolized. Our California laboratories offer testing services for smoke residues, mold, odors, lead, asbestos and other potential exposure risks. These services help to ensure the building is thoroughly repaired and that workers and future building occupants are not put at risk.”
To learn more about testing for smoke residues, odors, water damage, mold, asbestos, lead or other indoor air quality and environmental issues, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794. For access to IEQ test kits, visit www.EMSLTestKits.com.
About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: : AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), CDC ELITE, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro, San Diego and Ontario.