Chemical Fires In Buildings: Restore, Or Blow Up?


Fire damage restoration is a common enough set of procedures after a fire has been extinguished. However, there are certain situations where fire damage restoration may be deemed a less appropriate choice. Quite often, in rare instances where there have been chemical fires, the local fire department has to determine if restoration can be completed, or if a controlled fire or controlled explosion is the right choice. Here is how they make that call.

HAZMAT Could Not Clean up the Poisonous Chemicals 

One such instance where blowing up a building rather than destroying it is the better option is when the chemicals in use are no match for the HAZMAT team to clean up. When the chemicals in the fire are so toxic that the walls in the building have absorbed them, humans cannot safely enter or inhabit the building again. From there, it has to be determined if the chemicals are safe to burn in a controlled fire, or the building has to be blown up with controlled explosives.

Poisonous Air or Safe Demolition

Let's say that the fire in a building occurred as a result of someone trying to make homemade mustard gas. Mustard gas can kill you. It can also become airborne, soak into walls, and remain for years. It is almost as bad as nuclear fallout. It is at this point that the HAZMAT team and the firefighters determine that the building cannot be restored through the efforts of any fire damage restoration team and that the building needs to be demolished and removed.

It is also important, given the presence of mustard gas chemicals, that the building not be destroyed through controlled fire. The toxins from the mustard gas chemicals would be released into the air and choke every living thing within miles. Ergo, the building has to undergo a controlled explosion.

Controlled Explosion Takes the Building Out

A controlled explosion safely demolishes the building without spreading the toxic chemicals. Once the building has been demolished this way, cleanup contractors clear away the debris. Signs of the building's remaining foundations are examined, and if deemed safe, the fire restoration crew is finally called to the location. The fire damage crew cleans up the foundation, allowing it to become a safe place to rebuild. After the foundation is cleaned, and has been deemed completely safe, the property owner can hire a construction contractor to rebuild it.

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Understanding The Home Restoration Process: A Basic Overview

Buying a house is an exciting process, but it can often come with surprises. If you find that your home has suffered some damage and needs full restoration work, the idea can be daunting. From proper drywall work to pipes and other repairs, I've been doing them on my own for years. There's a lot to consider when you're doing this kind of work, and I decided to create this site to teach others about how to do the same things. The pages here will help you to learn the basics of these types of repairs and empower you to do the work yourself.

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