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World-Class Environmental Safety and Industrial Hygiene Consulting Throughout California and Around the Globe
wildfire

Wildfire Structural
AND SMOKE ASSESSMENT


Wildfires and their attendant smoke have become a fact of life in the West. You may have just survived a dangerous, unpredictable and distressing wildfire event.

If your business or home has been impacted by wildfires you may have a lot of questions. What is the extent of the damage? What among my possessions is actually salvageable? Has smoke inhalation impacted the health of my family or colleagues? How can I really determine the extent of the damage?


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Aero-Environmental performs expert assessments of wildfire damage to structures and possessions. As Certified Industrial Hygienists, we also offer assessments of wildfire smoke and particulates as they relate to property damage and human health impacts. Our reports offer quantifiable proof of damage, which can help address your needs with regards to insurance adjusters, healthcare providers, landlords and renters, or government entities.

 

Elements of Wildfire & Smoke Damage Inspection

Many facets of fire and smoke damage are analyzed, including but not limited to:

  • Proximity analysis
  • Particulates and dust samples
  • Microscopic analysis of particulate samples
  • Presence of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
  • Presence of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
  • Presence of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
  • Presence of heavy metals
  • Presence of toxic airborne chemical contaminants
  • Smoke infiltration pathways
  • Soot, char, ash and staining
  • Smoke odor
  • Residual chemical contaminants
  • Structural impacts
  • Attendant microbial growth resulting from ash deposit
  • Content salvageability assessment

 

Recommendations for corrective actions are provided. These may be used in legal liability actions and/or for insurance purposes.

 

 

If you, your family or business have been impacted by wildfires or smoke, we are here to help. We will take the stress out the situation by offering science-based, factual, quantifiable metrics to the damage you have incurred, and actionable recommendations to successfully address it. Don’t wait, call today.

 

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CASE STUDY OF WILDFIRE SMOKE ASSESSMENT

SUMMARY

At the request of TRAVELERS INSURANCE, Aero-Environmental Consulting conducted an industrial hygiene assessment of a wildfire contaminated residential property in Santa Rosa, California. This assessment was conducted to evaluate exposures to respirable dust, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, and wildfire burn dust following cleanup of structural debris and burn ash after wildfires spread into areas where homes and businesses were located.

OUR KEY FINDINGS

  • Wipe samples of representative materials/surfaces were collected from areas where suspect smoke damage was suspected. Several of these samples had elevated concentrations of char, a primary indicator of wildfire smoke impact.
  • Respirable dust concentrations were elevated in two areas above occupational exposure limits.
  • Napthalene was detected at levels well below occupational exposure limits in all of the air samples.
  • Polyaromatic hydrocarbons were detected on several of the wipe samples collected.

 

 

CLIENT INFORMATION

Travelers Risk Control is an innovative provider of cost-effective risk management services and products. As one of the largest Risk Control departments in the industry, they can provide the right resources for disaster situations like wildfires.

 

BACKGROUND

A representative with Travelers Insurance requested a health hazard evaluation concerning exposures to wildfire combustion by-products, respirable dust, and polyaromatic hydrocarbons following cleanup activities of structural debris and burn ash after this residence was impacted by wildfire smoke and ash. When structures are impacted by wildfires, hazardous materials may be released into the environment and must be cleaned up to limit the impact to the public and the surrounding environment.

 

OUR RECOMMENDATIONS

Aero-Environmental conducted a fire-impact assessment of the property. Our initial assessment/evaluation, allowed us to issue recommendations with a specific series of actions that could be implemented to address these issues at this property. Our list of recommendations was based on a well-accepted approach called the “hierarchy of controls”. The hierarchy of controls groups actions by their likely effectiveness in reducing or removing hazards associated with fire and smoke damage. Aero-Environmental’s Industrial Hygienist prepared the impact assessment report and recommendations, including the remediation requirements for each room and for each item in the room.

Aero-Environmental worked closely with Travelers Insurance, the homeowners, and the remediation contractor to get the affected areas back into a healthy indoor environment.

 

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