Air Date: 3-23-2012| Episode: 241
Fire Restoration and Repair Issues and Answers – This week on IAQ Radio we discuss fire damage and restoration a subject that often times doesn’t get enough respect...
Fire Restoration and Repair Issues and Answers – This week on IAQ Radio we discuss fire damage and restoration a subject that often times doesn’t get enough respect. We will be interviewing Ed Light, CIH and Martin King, ASA, CR. Ed Light has specialized in the investigation and control of IAQ concerns for 30 years. His consulting group, Building Dynamics, provides industrial hygiene and HVAC engineering services throughout the U.S. with notable projects including IAQ assessments of the White House, South Pole Station and buildings impacted by 9/11. Martin King was the Restoration Industries Association Technical Adviser for 30 years, where he developed a broad range of restoration procedures and published over 300 articles in trade journals. He currently serves as CEO of Martin Churchill Associates, Inc. Damage Investigators and Appraisers and has investigated and prepared formal reports on over 2000 property damage cases. Recently Light N King have been working together to improve the knowledge and science behind fire damage restoration and repair. Unfortunately, fire damage and restoration issues often times take a back seat to more “sexy” mold. It seems that mold gets all the attention even though fire damage is an extremely important issue.
Light N King Strike Again
On today’s episode of IAQradio the pyronamic duo fire restoration pioneer Martin King and industrial hygienist Ed Light discussed the state-of-the art of the assessment of smoke damage with listeners. King and Light have developed a surface assessment protocol for use in evaluating fire related contaminate.
Nuggets mined from today’s episode:
· Fire is an exothermal self supporting oxidation reaction. (King)
· Absence or presence of smoke odor is subjective. Smoke odor may have a strong emotional component. (King)
· Odor and peril related contaminate denote damaged condition. (King)
· Client satisfaction is the determining factor for restoration efficacy. (King)
· Smoldering fires create unique residue. (King)
· Traditionally evaluation has been based on visual assessment. (King)
· Restoration objective is no visual or olfactory evidence. There is no standard for the evaluation of the intensity of fire related particulate contamination. (King)
· Microscopy useful for evaluating particulate. Marty uses 100X magnification. For microscopy training and info check out the McCrone Institute, www.mcri.org/
· Their research and collaboration is litigation driven. (Light)\Are critical of the misapplication of asbestos & carbon black testing for fire losses. (King/Light)
· Combustion particles are ubiquitous sources include: vehicles, fireplaces, combustion appliances, candles, etc. (King/Light)
· Prefer tape sampling to air sampling in most fire losses. (King/Light)
· Advocate that a grayscale be used to confirm surface contamination levels. (King)
· Gathering and cataloging background samples from the interiors of homes throughout the US. (King)
· Sampling strategy based upon: occupant interview, questionnaire, contamination sources, pathways and cleaning history, logic and common sense. (Light)
· Use particle count to calculate contaminate concentration. (Light)
· Some building occupants are more vulnerable to fire related particulate than others. (Light)
· Gas exposures not understood. (Light)
· Fire repair contractor commonly must decide between “ethical principle versus economic convenience.” (King)
· Adjusters have don’t understand fire repair shouldn’t be writing specifications. (King)
· PPE- Standards are often designed for worst case scenarios, a small minority of losses fall within that category. Excessive precautions and remediation is done in the majority of situations. Restoration first responders need to wear respiratory protection N-95, after air changes the risk is reduced 90%. (King)
· Tape lifts- it’s what on top that counts. (King)
· Air sampling is overdone. Not a great need for testing labs to evaluate fire related particulate. (Light)
· Fire repair has evolved based upon what works not prescriptive standards. (King)
· More data and information supports not needing prescriptive industry standards rather than needing them. (King)
· To me, Ed seemed slighted that he and Marty weren’t asked to participate in the development of IESO/RIA 6001-2011 Evaluation of HVAC Interior Surfaces.
-Dieter and his mentor Yves Alarie investigated and studied airborne particulate. http://www.yvesalarie.com/
King and Light were outspoken sharing how they really feel about issues such as air sampling, testing labs, industry standards with IAQradio listeners.
Today’s Music: The Great Baltimore Fire of 1904, sung live by Ed Light