The Dangers of Exposure to Toxic Smoke
The responsibilities of a repair and restoration company are far-reaching, but there are few as important as the removal of biohazardous materials. When toxic chemicals haven’t been properly removed from either a residential home or commercial property, people breathing in these dangerous substances can succumb to a variety of injuries and even death.
Fire damage is a source of these contaminants due to toxic smoke that is emitted during a blaze. Let’s take a look at the dangers of toxic smoke and you’ll understand why professional and thorough remediation is absolutely essential for the safety of anyone who enters your home or business after a fire.
Toxic Smoke Feeds on Everyday Contaminants
We live in a world of dangerous chemicals. These substances are typically kept in check, but almost everything in our homes and businesses contains some sort of material that is essential for keeping that product protected and intact so that it can last for an extended period of time, among other reasons. When these items catch on fire, the heat produced by the flames cause these chemicals to be released into the air. While some of these chemicals waft away from the site of the fire, much of them settle into what is called soot.
When Smoke Becomes Soot
If you’ve ever experienced a fire in your home, you most likely know what soot is. Same goes for anyone who has burned wood in a fireplace. But, put simply, soot is the physical form that tiny particulates take when they are deposited onto any surface in your home. This residue contains all the chemicals that were captured as smoke from the fire entered the air. According to Sean Scott, the CEO of The Red Guide to Recovery, exposure to such particulates leads to approximately 20,000 premature deaths in America every year. A large number of these are due to soot-related causes.
The Dangers of Toxic Smoke
The human body may be quite resilient, but it can easily fall victim to toxic chemicals when they are introduced into the organic systems that keep us going. Toxic smoke produced when fire rages through a home or business contains chemicals such as arsenic, formaldehyde, mercury, hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide, benzene, and many more. These chemicals get into the air in the form of smoke, which later becomes soot. While most larger particles (10 microns and above) are expelled or otherwise eliminated by our bodies, particulates contained in soot are only 2.5 microns in size, which means that it’s easy for them to enter the lower lungs. This can cause severe respiratory issues, especially for those who already suffer from respiratory ailments like asthma or allergies, along with damage to the heart and other potentially life-threatening ailments.
How to Protect Yourself After a Fire
As you can see, recovering from a fire is a lot more involved than simply repairing the parts of your home or business that were damaged during the blaze. Toxic smoke can cause severe health issues if each affected area is not thoroughly remediated. The repair and restoration experts at Abbotts Fire and Flood cannot emphasize enough the importance of getting yourself checked out by a medical professional following a fire even if you don’t feel any ill effects. It is also vitally important that you avoid your home or business until you have been given the “all clear” that the area is safe. While it’s understandable, especially after a severe fire, that you are desperate to enter the location to grab belongings and see the damage yourself, you must strictly adhere to the safety instructions given to you by our team to ensure that everyone stays safe.
The team of professionals at Abbotts Fire & Flood has the experience, knowledge, and equipment necessary to clean up toxic smoke so that you can get your life back on track without the fear of breathing in these dangerous substances. If you’ve experienced a fire or any other damage to your home or business, contact us and we’ll send out a team to get your life back on track.
Helping our neighbors in the following communities throughout Denver, Boulder and the entire front-range.
- Castle Pines
- Castle Rock
- Colorado Springs
- Commerce City
- Fort Collins
- Greenwood Village
- Highlands Ranch
- Lone Tree
- Wheat Ridge