A home fire will trigger a number of negative effects for a family. Aside from the obvious destruction of personal belongings and the home itself, homeowners experience stress and financial loss. But there’s another thing to consider after you’ve endured a fire within your home: Smoke damage can also affect your physical health.
Smoke can contain a number of toxic elements, such as carbon monoxide, soot, tar, carbon dioxide and other harmful chemicals (depending upon what was burned in the fire, and even upon what caused the fire in the first place). These chemicals are suspended in the air during and after the event, and later settle onto surfaces as soot. Anything exposed to the air – so essentially, everything in your home – can and probably will be contaminated by toxic soot.
When soot touches you via clothing, furniture, and other household items it can severely irritate your skin. But because soot is everywhere throughout your house, and constantly stirred up via your own movements, cleaning, and so on, you will continue to inhale the toxic elements included in smoke. This can damage your health in the following ways:
- Breathing can feel labored or difficult
- Lungs and sinuses can become inflamed
- You might experience symptoms like coughing, sleepiness, and nausea
- Increased carbon monoxide in the lungs can hinder oxygen circulation in the body
- In some cases, brain damage or death can occur
- Those with asthma, allergies, or diabetes are more susceptible
- Pregnant women can encounter health risks to both themselves and their unborn children
After a house fire, it is important to stay out of the home until the fire marshal has informed you that it is safe to enter. Even so, that advice pertains more to the stability of the structure. Safeguard your health by wearing a proper filtration mask when entering the home, and be sure consult with experts on smoke damage. Give us a call, and let us handle the cleaning and restoration process for you.