The aftermath of a fire will always pose health risks, whatever the location. When a fire occurs in a hospital though, the damage left poses a genuine threat to life, and needs to be handled by experts.
An NHS hospital in Essex faced this exact problem when one of the rooms caught fire one Friday night. The immediate concern was, obviously, to control and put out the fire, but that was only the beginning. The initial assessment was that, on top of the room where the fire occurred, they had a 10m corridor that was left covered in soot and fire damage – entirely unsuitable for use.
Even with the cause of the fire still unknown, the Estate Director of the hospital knew that they needed to take action right away, so called a company with the experience and expertise to clean the area to the standard required – Ideal Response.
The Ideal Response
Despite being out of hours when we received the call, our initial team of two was onsite in under an hour. The police were still investigating the room where the fire happened, in order to determine the cause, so we started to work on the corridor.
It was immediately clear that the damage was not confined to the 10m stretch as first thought – a fire door had been left open which had allowed the soot and smoke to infiltrate further than anticipated. The total area was closer to 20m.
We deployed a team of six on the Sunday in light of the increased area that required attention and to ensure that the work was completed as quickly as possible. This is always our aim, but it was even more important to get the hospital back to full capacity.
The soot had covered everything, and got everywhere. The skylights were particularly difficult to clean thoroughly, but with a combination of the expertise of our team and the industry-leading equipment at their disposal, they set to work.
All surfaces were scrubbed, and fixtures and fittings were also thoroughly cleaned to remove all soot before our HEPA rated air scrubbing machines were installed to remove all the soot particles from the air, leaving it purified.
By Tuesday, the police had signed off the room of the fire, so we were able to start work there as well. We used the same equipment and techniques there for a thorough clean.
Within days of the fire, all affected areas were cleaned back to a hospital standard, ready for them to be repainted and decorated. In total, there was very little disruption to the running of the hospital. Considering the amount of damage caused by the fire, this was a tremendous result.
In the words of a hospital representative; “We could not believe the transformation, and in such a short time.”
The hospital fire clean in Essex was a complete success.