Hazardous Materials Following Fire Damage

Posted by CleanSafe on 18/05/16 in Advice and Fire Damage

Many structures that have been subject to fire damage can fortunately be repaired and restored. However, once materials have been exposed to fire, water and smoke, they can become hazardous, and these hazardous materials need dealing with in a particular way in order to make them safe and able to remain in the building.  

Fire Damage to Concrete and brick

Once concrete has been heated above 300°C, it generally loses most of its strength, so the structural integrity of a whole building could be at high risk. An evaluation needs to be conducted in order to asses the extent of the damage. An evaluation would include a visual inspection of the material, samples of the concrete and brick to take away for specialist testing and non-destructive testing.

As concrete raises in temperature, the colour can sometimes change to a red/pink colour. This can be an indication to the level of damage caused, but should not be solely relied on.

Fire Damage to Wood

As an extremely permeable material, wood can be one of the most challenging materials to make safe and often requires a rigorous soot and odour removal process.

Finished wood:

Sealed or varnished wood, such as desks or other furniture will need to be cleaned using a special cleaning agent. Once this has been worked into the grain of the wood, it should gently lift the soot from the surface.

Unfinished wood:

This type of wood is more vulnerable to damage and is typically used for building structures. It is also more prone to water stains so care should be taken during any cleaning or restoration activity.

Fire Damage to Glass

boarded up window after fire damageWhen a fire is at its peak, depending on what type of glass is in the windows and doors, it can sometimes crack and break from the exposure to extreme heat from only one side. Any glass is likely to be boarded up following the event of a fire, and will then need replacing in due course.

Fire Damage to Fabric


CleanSafe Emergency Services

Our team of fire and smoke restoration specialists have all the latest and specialist equipment to restore your premises, following a fire. As highly qualified specialists in our field, we have the in depth knowledge and experience to deal with all hazardous materials, ensuring your safety and the safety of those around.