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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Wildfires Season Is Upon Us! Don't Let the Santa Ana Winds Play Havoc with Your Home and Family--SERVPRO Is Ready to Help

10/12/2019 (Permalink)

Wildfires, Santa Ana Winds, and SERVPRO Standing By and Ready for Cleanup and Restoration

Why SERVPRO Crew Members Use PPE when Working on Residences after a Wildfire Around Santa Ana

After a disaster in the Santa Ana area, SERVPRO sends highly skilled and experienced specialists to restore houses and businesses through mitigation, remediation, and other tasks. These jobs often require that our employees don personal protective equipment, or PPE, to protect themselves from inherent hazards.

The dramatically increased risks are why SERVPRO crew members use PPE while working on homes in Santa Ana after a wildfire. These risks can come from broken glass windows that shattered and blew into the house from radiant heat. Many other risks exist, and scientists and researchers are still studying the aftermath of wildfires to determine their extent and how they can affect human health.

Many chemicals exist in the modern home, from the building materials to the contents. Appliances are now highly energy-efficient, but many also contain materials that become highly toxic when exposed to extreme external temperatures. The effects of some compounds used in appliances, furniture, electronics, and other everyday household items remain unclear. We want to protect ourselves from the unknown as we clean debris away from your home, helping you prepare to rebuild, so we wear full-body suits and respiratory gear.
More well-known are tree and plant resins that enter the air when the plant burns. These, as well as saps, waxes, and oils,  can cause health effects, especially respiratory-related ones. Treated lumber, plastics like PVC, and other synthetics do give off many chemical compounds that we are aware of, although we learn new information about these regularly--another reason to wear PPE.
Electrical hazards from downed power lines, exposed wires on functioning appliances, and those that might have their switch in the 'on' position are one reason we wear heavy gloves and special boots. These items also keep us safe as we work removing large pieces of lumber, walls, and roofing material. Heavy gloves also protect our hands from any hot spots.
There are other risks that residents should know about returning after a wildfire. Hot spots can re-ignite, not just burn unsuspecting people. The red powder dropped from planes is relatively non-toxic when on the skin, but can harm pets who drink tainted water., however, not all flame retardants are made the same way, so caution is advised. Smoke can linger for months after a fire of this magnitude, and respiratory equipment is often necessary. Smoke particles can be as small as 2.5 microns in size, allowing them to enter the alveoli in the lungs. Our SERVPRO team often deploys air scrubbers fitted with HEPA and charcoal filters to meet the challenges of persistent smoke and odors.
These are just some of the hazards SERVPRO of Santa Ana South's restoration specialists faces when cleaning up after a wildfire. Keep your family safe. Contact our emergency response team at (714) 558-7772 for our highly trained technicians – they are always ready to start restoring your property after any size disaster.
SERVPRO suggests the following websites for addition information.

https://www.airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=smoke.index How Smoke from Fires Can Affect Your Health
https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/wildfires/afterfire.html Stay Safe After a Wildfire
https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/publications/publications/91br023.pdf How Wood Smoke Harms Your Health

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