On 2 January 2012 the NEC football stadium in Nijmegen suffered a major fire.
The fire started in the main bar in the reception area on the first floor, the Gaanderij. Thick smoke spread throughout the building causing soot particles to cover a large surface area.
Soot is material that originates from the incomplete burning of carboniferous fuels such as wood or coal, or of liquid fuels such as oil. Soot particles that have settled are not always visible to the naked eye, but can still cause odours (a burnt smell) in buildings.
The SGS Search Engineers firm B.V. was asked to carry out an urgent survey of the extent of the soot damage on ceilings and insulation material in the building. The aim of the survey was to find out the extent and whereabouts of the soot contamination so the club would know which parts and places would need to be cleaned and which ones replaced.
The soot survey consisted of the following elements:
- Visual inspection;
- The taking of adhesive samples for optical analysis;
- The taking of adhesive samples for the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM);
- The taking of samples of materials for optical analysis;
- Interpretation and reporting of the results.
The day after the survey was completed the first results were delivered to the client. The results showed where and to what extent the soot had settled in the building. Thus it was possible to determine how to tackle the contaminated areas in the building.