Fire Damage
Air Quality Testing

What toxic air pollutants are generated from a fire and what are the risks when reoccupying a building?


Fires in buildings can release a range of toxic air pollutants, posing potential health risks for those reoccupying the space. Common pollutants generated include:

  • Particulate Matter (PM): Fine particles and soot can become airborne during a fire
  • Carbon Monoxide (CO): Released during combustion, carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas
  • Formaldehyde: Combustion of various materials, especially those containing resins, can produce formaldehyde
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): Burning materials such as plastics and synthetic materials can release VOCs, contributing to indoor air pollution.

Exposure to post-fire air pollutants can have immediate and long-term health effects, including:

  • Respiratory Issues: Irritation, coughing, and difficulty breathing.
  • Cardiovascular Effects: Elevated exposure may impact heart health.
  • Long-Term Health Risks: Prolonged exposure to certain pollutants may contribute to chronic health conditions.

ActionsActions and advice

Before re-entering a building post-fire, enlist professionals to conduct a thorough inspection, assessing damage and potential risks to indoor air quality. This involves air quality testing to pinpoint contaminants. Once cleared, prioritise ventilation using high-efficiency air filters and consider air purifiers with activated carbon filters to eliminate pollutants like VOCs.

After re-occupying, embark on a comprehensive cleaning process targeting surfaces and HVAC systems to eliminate residual soot and contaminants. Replace porous materials like carpets and insulation that may retain toxins. Establish a monitoring and maintenance routine to sustain optimal air quality, ensuring HVAC systems remain clean, filters are regularly replaced, and ventilation is consistently effective.

HelpHow can we help?

Our primary goal is to support you in the aftermath of a fire incident. As certified occupational hygiene specialists we have a deep understanding of the potential risks to indoor air quality. Our post fire air quality testing service has been developed to provide same day testing results speeding up the remediation process and eventual reoccupation of the building.

For further help call us on 0870 7019170 or email:


Knowledge Centre Article

Expand your knowledge on this topic by reading our informative article

Clearing the Air: Understanding Indoor Air Quality After a Fire
Clearing the Air: Understanding Indoor Air Quality After a Fire


When a fire ravages a building, the immediate concerns are often focused on extinguishing the flames and ensuring the safety of occupants. However, the aftermath of a fire brings about a new set of challenges, particularly concerning indoor air quality (IAQ)

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