Within a matter of minutes, fires of any size can wreak havoc on large retail businesses. Whether it is a clothing store, a grocery chain, a gym, a theater, a large restaurant, or any other large retail setting, fires damage merchandise, equipment, seating, decor, and the structure of the building. It can take weeks to restore a building causing the business to close down all operations during that time. 

Some of the greatest damage can come from an unseen source — smoke and soot damage can have just as big an impact as the fire itself. Whether it is a large fire or a small fire, a business will have serious damage from smoke. When materials from the structure or inside the building are burned, smoke permeates the walls, surfaces, and air ducts.

That smoke damage is full of harmful VOCs and leaves behind unwanted smells and permeates surfaces that are difficult to clean. Businesses have to close down for the safety of customers and workers because of the smoke damage, even if the area where the fire occurred is relatively small. Proper smoke damage restoration and odor removal are necessary to create a healthy environment for anyone to safely re-enter the space.

Time and Process Are Critical

When a large retail space calls you to help them with fire restoration, you know that time is critical — many times, you are called in on the weekends or after-hours because the sooner you get to work, the better chance of having less damage. 

Once an assessment of the damage has been done, it is critical to work with the company contact to create a strategic plan for when the space needs to be re-opened. Quickly gathering resources, a labor force, and rental equipment that is available 24/7 is a challenge. 

Many times your clients' protocols will require your team to use every resource you have to restore damaged structures quickly and get customers walking back inside within days. This means that even if you clean and repair damaged areas, the store needs to smell as if a fire had never happened. It is your job to eliminate the smoke smell. 

You need to get hydroxyl generators running as quickly as you can after the fire. Odorox®  is the only patented and scientifically proven hydroxyl technology in the marketplace today that can be called in at a moment’s notice. If you can eliminate the smoke odor and get the space back up and running within a day or two instead of a week, you can help your client get back to running their business without missing a beat.

Odorox® hydroxyl generators are the best equipment you can use to get rid of the smell of smoke in large-loss retail settings. In Michigan, hydroxyl generators were used to get a Cabela’s back open in 4 days after a fire. 

One of Michigan's biggest tourist destinations, Cabela’s, was shut down by an early morning fire. The fire broke out inside the 225,000 square foot facility in Dundee, MI, at 2:30 a.m. in a light fixture above the clothing department and spread soot and smoke odor throughout the interior of the retail building. 

Thankfully, no one was hurt, but the smoke and chemicals used to put out the flames left toxic odors in the building.

Right away, Odorox® hydroxyl machines were used throughout the facility to eliminate the smoke and soot odors and deodorize the structure and contents, including the HVAC ducting, getting this huge space back up and running in days.

Hydroxyl Generators Create Safe Cleanup Environments

One of the most valuable tools in a large loss retail restoration project is a hydroxyl generator. They ensure complete odor removal and give your clients the peace of mind they need to begin operations again. 

Hydroxyl generators have been used with great efficacy in hundreds of large losses across the U.S., including at major retailers like Costco and Ikea. One major value to using hydroxyl generators for odor removal is for businesses that mainly suffered smoke damage. They do not require much structural repair or cleaning; with hydroxyl generators, they can remain open throughout the odor removal process.

Hydroxyl generators work to get odors out that infiltrate deep into any porous surfaces. These generators produce oxidizing gasses that break apart odor molecules and eliminate a very broad range of odors and VOCs. They can begin running immediately after the fire to help knock out smoke damage, keeping smoke and soot from greater damage to the structure. 

If those odors are not removed at the deepest level, smells can reappear weeks or even months after the loss, leading to very unhappy clients.