smoke-fire-alarm-home-safetyA house fire is one of the worst things that can happen to your home. Even a small fire, spotted early and put out quickly, can cause damage to your carpets, curtains and soft furnishings. The effects of soot and smoke can linger for a long time and it’s often upholstered furniture, fitted carpets and other household fabrics that are trickiest to clean.

Soot Stains

The first problem is soot, an oily substance that stains easily. Take the greatest of care when dealing with soot stains on your carpet. Never wipe soot affected areas as this will only drive the stain further into the carpet fibres, exacerbating the damage and potentially making it impossible to remove.

Removing soot stains from your carpet is a specialist job requiring high powered vacuum cleaning that’s designed to remove the substance. Your best bet is to call a professional cleaning company with the right equipment and experience to tackle the job.

If you want to have a go yourself, perhaps while you’re waiting for help to arrive, you need to use the nozzle of your vacuum cleaner and apply suction from directly above the soot stain. Don’t use any brush attachments or vacuum in the traditional way since the sideway action will rub the stain in further.

Smoke Odour

During a fire, the heat expands the pores of household items and surfaces including plasterwork, carpet fibres, upholstery fabrics and more. Once the fire is out, the pores contract again, trapping smoke odour. But that’s not the end of it. The problem comes when the temperature inside your home increases – for example when you turn the heating on or during the summer – as that is when unpleasant smoke odours are released.

Depending on the extent of the smoke damage, you may need to have your carpets, curtains and upholstery cleaned professionally, or you may have to redecorate completely for the effective long-term removal of smoke odours from your home.

Restoring your home to how it was before the fire is not a quick job; patience is key. Professional carpet cleaning is highly recommended as the best way to save your carpets, and upholstered chairs, armchairs and sofas will also need professional attention. Do bear in mind that it may well be necessary to have your carpets cleaned twice: once to remove soot and smoke odours immediately after the fire, and again after the decorators have finished.

Written on November 10, 2016 · Tagged: , ,

match-1091636_1920For obvious fire safety reasons, fabrics used in many public places such as educational establishments, medical facilities, churches, places of public entertainment, prisons etc are required by law to be certified as flame retardant.

Strict fire retardant standards and regulations are in place for both domestic and contract fabrics, such as curtains and upholstery. These textiles are routinely tested to make sure they are safe for use in homes and commercial settings to eliminate unnecessary fire risks, and are fire resistant labelled for specific purposes.

British Standard 5852:2006 applies to textiles used to upholster furnishings for the home, such as sofas and chairs. The fabric is tested to ensure that a flame from a lit cigarette or match would not ignite the material.

British Standard 5867 applies to curtain fabric, which is tested for flammability by establishing whether the flame reaching the highest or lowest edge of the material catches fire and spreads.

British Standards 5438, BS 5852:2006 and 5867 apply to flame retardant, vertically hung curtain fabric testing.

Fire retardant fabrics may be certified as FR (Fire Retardant), Inherently Fire Retardant (IFR) or Permanently Fire Retardant (PFR). FR fabrics are post-treated with a chemical fire retardant, which will leech out over time as a result of washing or dry cleaning; these textiles will need to be retreated in due course. IFR and PFR fabrics have been woven from fibres that are intrinsically non-combustible, meaning that their fire retardant properties will not be diminished by cleaning, but last a lifetime.

If you are not sure about the safety of upholstery and curtain fabrics and textiles in your business or home, call Apple Clean for professional advice. With over 25 years’ industry experience, we offer a wide range of specialist fireproofing services for curtains and upholstery that meet strict local authority standards and are available for all types of commercial premises including schools, village halls, nursing homes, theatres and cinemas.

Flameproofing can be applied in situ to minimise any disruption to you, and can be carried out together with curtain, carpet and upholstery cleaning. To make sure you are safe and in compliance, call us today on 0800 587 4571.

Written on May 9, 2016 · Tagged: , , ,