The number one cause of death in fire-related accidents is smoke inhalation injury. Fire causes damage to the body by depriving it of oxygen, a process medically known as asphyxiation. Simple asphyxiation happens when the fire consumes the oxygen a person needs to breathe. On the other hand, chemical asphyxiation results when compounds from smoke interfere with the body’s ability to use oxygen. One example of such a compound is carbon monoxide.
It’s not always easy to tell what sort of chemicals can be present in smoke simply because of factors such as: the type of materials being burned; the temperature at which the fire is burning; and the amount of oxygen in a space that all have an impact on the composition of the resulting smoke. However, most domestic fires produce smoke and soot that can cause thermal and chemical irritation. These irritating compounds cause direct damage or injury to the human body, from the skin and mucous membranes (nostrils, lips, mouth, eyelids, ears, genital area, and anus) to a person’s respiratory system.
Remember that well over 90% of the emissions produced by fire are tiny enough to invade the respiratory system. Aside from carbon monoxide and other gases wreaking havoc on your body’s ability to use oxygen at a cellular level, smoke and soot can also cause other immediate acute conditions because of the particulate matter they contain. These particles can be 2.5 microns in size or smaller, and when these particles attack the respiratory system, they can cause inflammation of the lungs, collapse of the airways, as well as respiratory distress.
Smoke and soot can also cause damage to a property’s contents due to their acidic nature. Residues from the fire incident can affect everything, from curtains, carpets, and upholstery to clothing, wallboards, and electronic equipment.
If your home has suffered a fire accident, consider it unsafe for human habitation until a professional restoration service provider has had a chance to neutralize all the hazardous materials that the fire has caused. For emergency disaster assistance, call Kennedy Carpet at 888-536-6339. Our service area includes the city of Boston in Massachusetts and surrounding areas.