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Removing Fire Odor


The odors which permeate fire sites originate in combustion products that were distributed as part of the smoke plume. They deposit as particles that continue to emit odors broadly characterized as “smoky”. The odors are eliminated or substantially abated with removal of fire residues by cleaning, demolition or removing affected items. These deodorization methods are sometime called subtractive because they remove the odor-emitting particles without introducing other odors. In general, subtractive deodorization is preferable because, properly performed, it is permanent and benign in its environmental impact.
 Fire residues vary in intensity, as do the odors they emit. Procedures for removing fire residues and odors range from mild to aggressive, and are limited by the character of the affected surface. For example, textiles for clothing and upholstery tolerate a narrower range of cleaning procedures than wood or porcelain. Silk and wool impose more constraints than nylon. It is an inescapable fact that all surfaces cannot necessarily be freed of all odors. In cases where cleaning is not entirely successful, or not feasible, a variety of supplemental deodorizing procedures are available, employing chemical modification, absorption, encapsulation, and the application of vapors and scents. The effectiveness and permanence of the alternative procedures depends on how well they fit the requirements of the situation and the skill with which they are applied. Effective deodorization requires that remedies be tailored to fit specific problems. Trial and error is often involved, since the perception of odor is subjective and varies from person to person. In addition to generic materials, proprietary products and equipment also provide alternative approaches to odor removal.




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