Asbestos and Natural Disasters
When fires occur through accidental means, bushfires or even arson the first concern is to deal with the immediate risk which is of course the fire itself. Typically, the emergency responder will ensure the fire is contained and ultimately extinguished.
The inherent risk of asbestos following a fire may then be overlooked, however most loss adjusters working on behalf of the insurance companies will take into account the possibility of asbestos being present and action a make safe until further remediation can be conducted. Typically, a PVA solution will be used around and across the site to ensure that the loose asbestos doesn’t become airborne following the affected area drying out.
It is important to understand that when fire affects materials such as fibre cement the heat causes an explosive reaction with the water molecules which leads to an effect called spalling. This is where small fragments and loose asbestos fibres are broken off and are scattered in the immediate vicinity.
The consequence of spalling, the pressure force of the water from extinguishing the fire and wind levels can lead to a significant area being impacted following the fire.
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