Fire can damage collections in many ways. If not burned completely, collections can be scorched, singed, embrittled, discolored or soiled by soot and smoke. Staining, discoloration, and ink or color "bleeding" can result from water used to put out fires. Water from hoses and sprinkler systems can also cause some materials to stick together, as well as lead to mold growth.
Recommended links for fire-related emergencies are listed below.
Disaster networks for California fires or other events can be found at a number of sites, including:
- San Diego/Imperial County Libraries Disaster Response Network
- California Preservation Program's (CPP) Emergency and Preparedness Response page
- FEMA - Disaster Assistance
To locate fire recovery companies, supplies, and experts search the MATRIX Disaster Preparedness database.
The National Park Service has a number of sites with useful information. See in particular the Museum Handbook, Part I Museum Collections, Chapter 10: Emergency Planning, section A-B [PDF: 173 KB / 36 p.] pages 4-9 and section C-F [PDF 3.9 MB / 43 p.], list of websites (page 33) and checklists pages 35-38). Also Chapter 9: Museum Collections Security and Fire Protection [PDF 365 KB / 54 p.]. See also the National Park Service's Conserve O Grams most relevant to fire emergencies:
- 2/23 Fire Safety 101: A Fire Safety Self-Inspection Checklist [PDF: 288 KB / 6p.]
- 21/4 Salvage at a Glance, Part I: Paper Based Collections 2002 [PDF:273 KB / 4 p.]
- 21/5 Salvage at a Glance, Part II: Non-Paper Based Archival Collections 2002 [PDF: 272 KB / 4 p.]
- 21/6 Salvage at a Glance, Part III: Object Collections 2002 [PDF: 218 KB / 4 p.]
- 21/7 Salvage at a Glance, Part IV: Natural History Collections 2003 [PDF: 205 KB / 3 p.]
- 21/8 Salvage at a Glance, Part V: Textiles 2003 [PDF: 231 KB / 4 p.]
- 21/9 Be Prepared: Develop a Museum Emergency Operations Plan [PDF: 272 KB / 5 p.]
- 21/10 Museum Staff Emergency Procedures: A Sample Emergency Telephone List [PDF: 189 KB / 4 p.]
- 21/11 Museum Staff Emergency Procedures: A Sample Emergency "Flip Chart" [PDF: 289 KB / 8 p.]