For many people a fire is one of the most devastating things a home or business can endure. Livelihoods and personal effects, and memories can literally burn away in these disasters. However, many people think that once the trauma of the fire is done, the worst is over with.
While that’s true in terms of rampant destruction, that doesn’t mean that an environment is now safe to enter. Smoke damage from a fire is not just unsightly; it also presents some significant health risks. This is why even in fires that don’t spread all over a building, smoke damage means you’re not yet completely safe.
What Is Smoke Damage?
Most people don’t think about this question since they always see smoke emanating from fires. However, the truth is that smoke is essentially a toxic breakdown of solids. When exposed to tremendous heat, substances will eventually melt and burn, depending on their material tolerances. Paper, for example, has a much lower melting and burning point than stainless steel.
Smoke is the result of “incomplete combustion.” Complete combustion is so thorough in burning something that only water and carbon dioxide remain. Incomplete combustion means that not everything is cleanly consumed, leaving behind a residue that is a mix of liquid, vapor, and solid particles. In the case of smoke, this is usually tar, soot, oil, and ash.
The Risk Smoke Damage To You and Your Property
Smoke quickly spreads throughout a space once a fire occurs. However, because it is a mix of solids, vapors, and liquids, it doesn’t readily evaporate into the air, leaving nothing. Instead, smoke settles on and stains whatever it comes into contact with. Unfortunately, this is far from a complete process.
While smoke can settle down on walls, rugs, and furniture, the loose, particulate nature of it means that it’s not going to stay there. It can still break off and drift through the air.
This is why after a fire, people can still smell smoke in a house. The smell of smoke is smoke particles in the air, detected by your nose.
Unfortunately, this means that if you can smell smoke, you are also breathing it in. Coming into a building after a fire has occurred is similar to being a room full of smokers. You may not see cigarettes around you, but you are breathing in smoke all the same.
Some of the possible health risks from the long term inhalation of smoke particles from a smoke damaged environment include:
- Burning eyes
- Runny nose
- Aggravation of respiratory condition
- Aggravation of cardiac condition
If you or someone you know is:
- Ill with chronic heart or lung disease
- A child
Then spending any time in a smoke-contaminated environment endangers their health. This is why, beyond just the unsightliness, smoke damage should be cleaned up.
If you need professionals to help you recover from a fire and deal with burn and smoke damage, we can help. We have a great deal of experience cleaning up smoke damage in homes and businesses in this area. Contact us for a prompt, professional response.