Hazardous substances resulting from fires

In a fire, harmless substances, goods and components can generate a complex multitude of combustion products and residues with a hazard potential which is sometimes difficult to evaluate. Insurance policy holders, insurers, experts, authorities and clean-up companies must equally face the resulting challenges.

The GDV guidelines for the clean-up of fire damage (VdS 2357) describe an implementation of the entire clean-up after a fire conforming to environmental and health and safety legislation. This requirements and methods are described in a graduated manner from small through to large-scale fires. The GDV guidelines on the clean-up of fire damage culminate in the guidance for hazard evaluation and the process diagram for fire damage clean-up.

These guidelines have been designed as practical guides for handling cold fire scenarios (fire damage clean-up). They concretise TRGS 524 "Clean-up and work in contaminated areas" as well as BGR 128 (formerly ZH 1/183) "Contaminated areas" for fire damage clean-up issued by the Federation of the statutory accident insurance institutions for the industrial sector. Thus VdS 2357 represents the current state of safety technology, occupational health, hygiene and ergonomics requirements for the clean-up of fire damage.

In its fifth edition the GDV guideline VdS 2357 (April 2007) has been expanded and updated. vfdb guideline 10/03 has been adapted to this and separated into a guideline and information sheet part to facilitate the quicker adaptation of practical content.

The information sheet "Dealing with cold fire scenarios - information leaflet from the fire services to households damaged by fire" (VdS 2217 / vfdb 10/06), developed in cooperation with vfdb, is also available as full text download.