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Environmental Testing Laboratory

Category Press Release
Publish Date 8/8/2018
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Fire at California Apartment Complex Displaces Residents and Leaves Behind Indoor Environmental Quality Concerns
Introduction LA Testing provides analytical services, sampling supplies and easy-to-use test kits to identify smoke and water damage, residues, odors and more following a fire.

Huntington Beach, CA, August 8th , 2018

The East Bay Times recently published a report about a fire at an East Oakland apartment complex that took over two dozen firefighters to put out the flames. According to the article, residents from the unit where the fire took place lost their home as did other residents that lived in nearby units damaged by smoke and water. 

Fires in multi-tenant complexes can create a tremendous amount of smoke that typically travels 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 of a building, this smoke will leave behind odors and residues which can cause corrosion, etching and discoloration that can get worse over time.

Water damage from fire suppression efforts in a multilevel building can impact large areas of the structure as the water 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 and under floors. Moisture that remains for more than 48 hours will typically 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.

“Those left living in an apartment complex or any type of building that has suffered a structural fire, may encounter smoke residues, unpleasant odors and mold from water used to fight the fire,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “A serious concern in many older buildings that have undergone fire, water or smoke damage is the possible presence of lead-based paints and asbestos-containing materials. Efforts to dry out and repair damage to a building could aerosolize these materials if the proper safety precautions are not taken.”

Working to protect workers, residents and building occupants after a building fire are the professionals at LA Testing. With multiple laboratories throughout California, they offer testing services for smoke residues, mold, odors, lead, asbestos and other potentially hazardous materials. LA Testing provides all of the sampling supplies necessary and even offers indoor environmental quality test kits. This type of testing is instrumental for settling insurance claims and to help ensure that all damage is properly remediated.

LA Testing has also sponsored an educational video about smoke damage that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/jUSODjn2N5w.  

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.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794.  For access to 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 ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, 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 and San Diego.