A house fire is dangerous in and of itself, but even after the fire has been extinguished, there may still be the presence of a deadly threat. After a house fire, you may want to quickly transition into the recovery and rebuilding phases, but first, you must understand the importance of staying safe from asbestos after a fire, as the fire may have destroyed materials that kept you safe from asbestos.
How Does Fire Increase the Risk of Asbestos Exposure?
Asbestos is a virtually invisible threat that is present in a lot of homes built before 1990, and due to its fire-resistant nature, asbestos can weather a house fire while the materials encapsulating it burn away. In this exposed state, any disturbance can cause friable asbestos to flake off and become airborne, where it can enter your lungs.
Have Your Home Inspected After a Fire
In the aftermath of a fire, homeowners may overlook the threat of asbestos exposure in order to rummage through wreckage to recover any intact personal belongings. But all it takes is exposure to just a few asbestos fibers to incite long-term health risks. The only way to truly be safe is to hire a professional asbestos abatement company to come and test the home for contamination. If asbestos is detected, they will develop a plan for its removal or encapsulation.
How to Protect Yourself from Asbestos Exposure
The best way to protect yourself is by leaving the investigation to a professional. Still, if for some reason one must go into a damaged building, there are some important rules that must be followed to prevent toxic exposure.
- Avoid turning over damaged boards, beams, and other materials, as you may inadvertently stir up dust that contains asbestos fibers.
- Wear a disposable coverall suit, protective gloves, and protective eyewear.
- Wear a half-face respirator that has been certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health described on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website. A simple dust mask is not sufficient to filter the microscopic fibers.
Despite these risk-prevention techniques, it is highly recommended you stay clear of the house after a fire and hire a professional asbestos abatement team.
Staying safe from asbestos after a fire is essential for your health. Though it may be tempting to try to recover your belongings in the aftermath of a house fire, it’s vital to resist that urge. If you are concerned there may be asbestos in your home, contact us at Fiber Control, Inc. Our services include residential and commercial asbestos removal to ensure the protection of a building’s inhabitants.