Smell is more closely tied to memory than any other sense and that’s because of the way we’re built. Your nose’s olfactory bulb considers scents and feeds information about them directly to two parts of the brain – the amygdala and hippocampus – that are linked to emotion and memory. Input coming from other senses – sight, sound, touch – takes a more roundabout route to these brain features. That’s why a particular perfume immediately makes you think about your mother. It’s also why the acrid scent of smoke vividly reminds survivors of the overwhelming horror and panic they felt during a structural fire.
Because of the trauma that lingering smoke odours cause, Paul Davis applies cutting-edge technology to understanding and removing this unpleasant reminder from homes and belongings. Removal is also essential to protect health and safety. Because today’s structural fires burn hundreds of natural and synthetic materials, smoke and its characteristic odours contain hundreds of dangerous substances:
- Toxic gases such as carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides
- Hazardous chemicals like hydrogen sulfide, thiols, alcohols, acetic acid, benzene, formaldehyde, ammonia, formic acids, phenols, hydrogen cyanide, tar and phosgene
- Heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, cobalt, chromium, mercury and phosphorus
- Particulates such as asbestos fibers, dust and soot. Soot particles measure 1/30 the diameter of a human hair, making them extremely hazardous to respiratory health.
Fortunately, Paul Davis is banishing these upsetting and hazardous odours and contaminants with greater success than ever before. “We harness natural substances like ozone and hydroxyls to push odours out of materials and leave a clean, fresh, unscented smell,” says Rebecca Robinson, Contents Manager with Paul Davis, adding that the company also employs ultrasonic cleaning methods. “At our centralized contents processing facility, our specialized equipment generates hydroxyls, which are otherwise created naturally in the environment when the sun reacts with water and oxygen.”
Safe chemicals and advanced products may encapsulate and chemically neutralize odours. Innovative cleaning agents, such as degreasers, solvents, anti-mildew agents, disinfectants and detergents gently remove substances that create odour. Throughout the odour removal process, technicians handle items with a gentle precision honed by years of experience.
Paul Davis firmly believes that the unique smell of a person’s homes and belongings should elicit reassurance and safety, not evoke the terrifying ordeal of a fire. Of course, looks are important, too. But our brains are crystal clear on this point: what I smell is what I remember most vividly.