Prodoc has an emergency response team for rescue and recovery operations due to fire in libraries, archives or other museum-like structures that keep paper documents.
Our experts carry out the safety and recovery of library, archival and documentary assets affected by fire, following the procedures envisaged for cultural heritage.
In the event of a fire, goods made of paper material suffer damage that can easily be important and severe.
If they are affected by free and direct flames, books, folders and parchments will almost certainly be destroyed or irreparably damaged.
If the fire does not reach them directly, we will still have indirect damage from heat and smoke.
In addition to fire, the other agent that can cause significant damage is the extinguishing water used to extinguish the fire.
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Types of damage to paper documents in the event of a fire in the library, archive and museum
In the event of a fire we are faced with the attack of multiple agents whose action often results in a combination of the harmful effects listed here:
- Contamination of the external surfaces by black smoke (covers, folders, dust jackets, etc.).
- Color changes and alteration of materials caused by heat.
- Presence of carbon residues inside books / documents.
- Damage from wetting (fire fighting water).
- Damage from contamination of extinguishing substances
- Proliferation of molds and fungi (extinguishing waters).
Recovery of documents in case of fire: intervention methods
For large quantities of damaged documents (such as more than a few dozen folders):
- We evaluate the intervention and rescue priorities.
- We immediately recover and dry wet documents, of immediate use, through the freeze-drying system.
- We prepare non-urgent (wet) documents for freezing.
- After drying, papers are subjected to disinfection and disinfestation to avoid the development of mold or parasites.
- At the same time we recover and sort, according to the degree of damage, any dry documents contaminated with carbon black or affected by flames.
- After on-site cataloging, we transport the documents to our laboratory to subject them to decontamination, dusting, aspiration and eventual deodorization treatments.
- If necessary, the documents are smoothed, reconditioned and housed in folders with a neutral ph.
For small quantities of documents:
- We subject wet documents to immediate drying, through the freeze-drying system (without freezing).
The work process in emergency situations
We receive the alarm following a claim:
Our emergency number is active 24/7.
We immediately activate our emergency teams:
On the site of the accident we activate all the procedures useful to secure the damaged goods and to avoid any worsening of the damage occurred on them.
We prepare the damaged material for restoration:
After an assessment of the accident carried out by expert restorers, we examine together with the customer the best activities to undertake to prepare the material for the restoration operations.
We proceed with the restoration activities:
The restoration of damaged goods can be carried out directly on the site of the accident or in our laboratory.