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What Happens to Asbestos in a Fire?

Fire Comosed of Household Bebris

If your home or business goes up in a fire, it’s a terrible experience. But unfortunately, with fires, there are other dangers involved. Besides the destruction it causes, the smoke itself is harmful as it’s comprised of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and other toxic fumes. And the ashes left behind contain a dangerous mix of toxins also. Add to that burned asbestos-containing materials and you end up with a toxic mess.

The odds of asbestos being in your home are great. Even though it’s been banned in many products, several construction materials still contain them, such as ductwork, old flooring, pipes and plumbing, roofing, and siding.

This is why Cyclone Kleen Up is your complete disaster restoration company. Besides performing smoke and fire restoration, our licensed and certified techs are also experts in asbestos abatement and can complete the job safely and properly.

The Risk of Asbestos Exposure After a Fire

As long as asbestos-containing materials are left in their original state, they’re of no danger to you. But asbestos is fireproof and so can’t be destroyed by fire. Once asbestos-containing materials are damaged in a fire, asbestos becomes very brittle, breaks up, and can release dangerous fibers into the atmosphere, mixing with the smoke and traveling for miles. Those fibers may be inhaled by family members, workers, first responders, and everyone else who was in the vicinity of the site of the fire.

Home and business owners may be aware of some of these dangers, but often their desire to save personal possessions or expensive stock supersedes their common sense. Or they may think they’ll be able to see the danger to avoid it. But like other toxins at the site of a fire, asbestos is barely discernable with the naked eye.

In most fire situations, the general public will not experience any adverse health effects. It’s those who breathe in those fibers regularly for many years that are in danger of developing serious diseases such as mesothelioma and lung cancer. The symptoms of these diseases may not show up for a long time. By then it might be too late to treat. So you should always keep at least a thousand feet away from the site of a fire, especially if it’s still smoking or smoldering.

Mitigating Asbestos Exposure After a Fire

Because of the dangers involved, Colorado home and business owners should never attempt to clean up after a fire but should always rely on the professional help that Cyclone Kleen Up provides. We take the proper steps to keep our crew and anyone nearby safe while we clean up the debris. These steps include:

  • wetting down the area to keep asbestos fibers from becoming airborne
  • using respirators equipped with HEPA filter cartridges or an N-100, P-100, or R-100 NIOSH rating
  • wearing complete PPE – head-to-toe coveralls, boots, and gloves
  • ensuring that all debris is double bagged
  • setting up dust containment areas with heavy-duty plastic sheeting and duct tape
  • showering afterward to remove any dust and asbestos

If your home or business has experienced a fire, Cyclone Kleen Up performs fire restoration and asbestos testing and removal in Colorado Springs, Penrose, Salida, Pueblo, and the surrounding area. To learn more, call 719-299-3887 for immediate service.