ICS Magazine

ASCR Asks: What Happens After the Fire?

November 22, 2000
Millersville, Md. (PRNewswire) -- The National Institute of Disaster Restoration (NIDR), an institute of the Association of Specialists in Cleaning and Restoration (ASCR), recently provided over 200 restoration specialists with an in-depth look at what happens “after the fire.”

Gary Halpin, CR, AS, discussed the specifics of corrosion -- terminology, conditions that enable it, micro-organism corrosion and what to do about it. Four conditions foster corrosion and the cost of replacing equipment destroyed by it in the United States exceeds $1 billion annually.

Martin L. King, CR, AM, covered emergency building mitigation. The object is to make the building safe, stable and secure, while preventing additional damage. King reviewed the steps involved with mitigation projects: initial assessment, defining the scope, potential services required, mobilizing a workforce and equipment, tracking time and materials, as well as board ups and other emergency techniques.

Henri Fourroux explained electronics and data restoration. For data, the determination involves the scope of the damage and whether the data must be retrieved or recovered. Decisions involving hardware include cleaning and restoring or replacing.

Terry Smith presented a project involving fire, smoke and water damage in a commercial printing firm. There was fire and smoke damage on all three levels of the building, plus multi-level water damage from the sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers and humidity. According to Smith, most damage to books and documents takes place in the first four to eight hours, with these materials absorbing 60-80 percent of their dry weight in water. He advised restoring, recovering or protecting them from further damage within the first 48 hours.

Brian Spiegel, CR, addressed the threat of mold containment, authorizations, protections, testing and treatments. While there are no state or federal regulations governing mold remediation, Spiegel explained there is a standard of care regarding it and emphasized the importance of documenting work to show that it meets this standard.

David Spiegel, CR, covered the specifics related to health and safety on the job, stressing the importance of preplanning. He outlined the major causes of construction accidents and reviewed the issues that can trigger an OSHA inspection at a site. A follow-up seminar is scheduled for September 2001 in Chicago, Illinois.

The Association of Specialists in Cleaning and Restoration is a professional association comprised of more than 1,000 member firms specializing in the cleaning, treatment and repair of damaged buildings and their contents.