Following a wildfire or a house fire, one of the first things that homeowners want to know is whether or not it is safe to go back home. During a fire, the smoke that is generated can cause a lot of damage to your home. While smoke damage does not physically destroy the items in a home, it does coat any and all surfaces and objects in your home with toxic soot and stubborn odors. Smoke particles are tiny and hazardous and will make their way into any nook or cranny in your home where they will linger on long after the fire is put out. Unfortunately, no matter how large or small the fire was, any amount of smoke damage can render your home completely unsafe.
The Risk of Exposure
If you were to sleep in a house following a fire, you would be exposing yourself to soot and smoke, which are incredibly harmful elements. Because smoke releases tons of toxic chemicals, prolonged exposure can have serious consequences for your health.
Chemicals commonly released during a fire include:
- Sulfur dioxide
- Carbon monoxide
- Carbon dioxide
- Hydrogen cyanide
- Nitrogen oxides
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
- Acid gases
Staying in an environment with smoke and soot for any amount of time can have major health consequences. Because so many chemicals are released during a fire, smoke damage is incredibly toxic. Carbon monoxide is one of the most toxic chemicals found in smoke as it removes oxygen from the blood. Once blood loses oxygen, vital organs begin to lose function, which often results in death.
Additional health risks associated with smoke damage include:
- Skin damage: When exposed to smoke damage, your skin can become extremely dry, itchy, and irritated. Redness, rashes, and cracked or peeling skin are also common side effects of smoke damage.
- Irritation: Exposure to smoke can cause irritations such as headaches, nausea, fatigue, and itchy or burning eyes, nose, and throat.
- Respiratory damage: Microscopic smoke particles can easily penetrate your lungs, causing a host of respiratory problems. Affected individuals might experience shortness of breath, asthma, coughing, phlegm, wheezing, chest pain, lung disease, and more.
There are certain people who are more at risk when it comes to smoke damage, including elderly people, people with heart or lung disease, people with diabetes, and pregnant women. These individuals in particular should avoid any exposure to smoke damage, if at all possible.
What to Do After a Fire
If your home is suffering from smoke damage, you need a team of professionals on your side. At FP Property Restoration, our team of qualified experts is here to eliminate the smoke, soot, and odors, so you can get back home as soon as possible. Our fire and smoke cleanup specialists can perform thorough air cleaning, deodorization, material removal, cleanup, odor treatment, and repair services to restore the comfort and safety of your property.
To learn more about how we can help you, give us a call at (888) 408-2335. We are on call and ready to serve you 24/7/365.