Contamination Assessment


Fires and escapes of chemicals frequently result in the contamination of surrounding equipment, stock  and facilities. Burgoynes' specialists in materials, corrosion, electrical engineering and restoration can provide advice and assistance on the following:

  • The types of equipment most at risk of damage due to contamination.
  • Detailed site surveys to determine the type and extent of the contamination.
  • Whether or not equipment and stock can be cleaned.
  • The best methods of cleaning and restoration.
  • Whether or not there is any residual risk subsequent to cleaning.
  • Whether or not the contamination was caused by the insured event or pre-dated the incident.

Contamination Due to Fires

Soot and other combustion products always contaminate equipment and stock during fires. The most damaging contaminants to equipment are chloride and bromide ions, which are incorporated into many polymeric materials and smoke alone will taint fabrics.  PVC is the most common material used in the manufacture of electrical cable insulation. When PVC burns hydrogen chloride gas is released, which readily reacts with moisture in the atmosphere to form hydrochloric acid. Even a relatively small fire can result in considerable contamination by chloride and/or bromide ions.

Contamination Due to Escapes of Chemicals

Corrosive chemicals are used in many manufacturing processes, either as raw materials or for preparing surfaces. If any escapes occur, equipment and facilities can be contaminated, not only at the incident premises but also neighbouring sites, giving rise to third-party claims.

How Burgoynes Can Help

Burgoynes can carry out analyses to determine quickly whether contamination of equipment and stock, such as fabrics, has occurred. A detailed survey can then be carried out to determine the nature and extent of the contamination and to establish whether all of the contamination is attributable to the incident. Using our expertise in the fields of materials science, corrosion, electrical engineering and remediation we can then advise on the likely risks to equipment and how cleaning, restoration and repair could mitigate those risks. We can also prioritise the cleaning tasks.

With experts located in our offices in the UK and Singapore, we can respond promptly, often attending sites within 24 hours of being instructed. We can determine the extent of contamination so that swift remedial action can be initiated.

Principal Contacts

Ian Wadsworth, Ilkley Office

Sebastian Norager, Singapore Office

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