Fire Damage & Health Risks

If your home or business has recently been affected by fire or smoke damage, you need to know what the risks are if you’re exposed to fire related damages. It is extremely unhealthy to be breathing in any air recently affected by fire and smoke. Not only do you put yourself at risk, but also, your loved ones.

Health risks from fire damage:

Carbon monoxide- many people nowadays are very aware of the dangerous/deadly risks associated with carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide essentially decreases the body’s oxygen levels and causes; headaches, migraines, extreme fatigue, nauseous. Gone untreated exposure to carbon monoxide could lead to death.

Hydrogen cyanide- largely unknown by most people, exposure to hydrogen cyanide in building fires is the leading cause of cyanide poisoning.

Combine carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide- the chemical makeup of many manufactured materials, fires today reach hotter temperatures faster which ultimately makes smoke highly toxic. Together, they can cause hypoxia (oxygen not reaching tissues in the body), cardiac arrest, and death. Unfortunately the two together have been one of the leading causes for most fire related deaths, not only in fire victims but also fire fighters.

Soot- soot inhalation can be just as dangerous as any other fire inhalation contributor. The fire being out is a good thing but that doesn’t mean you can breathe easier. Respiratory issues are the main link to soot inhalation. Top risk factors are asthma, bronchitis, stroke, heart attack, and cancer. We’ve seen this come to light in the past few years with 9/11 firefighters, miners, factory workers, etc who are  having long term health issues for something they were exposed to years ago.

Mold- we have seen numerous fire loses go untreated for weeks. Think of all the water that was used to diminish the fire, now what typically goes along with wet and soggy structures is…you guessed it, mold! Mold can start to grow in as little as 48 hours. If it goes untreated, the remediation cost can become excessive.

Fire and smoke cleanup is a job for professionals only! Do not try to do it yourself or hire someone not qualified for the job. The crew at Rainbow in Watertown has a number of smoke and fire qualifications and certified technicians. Call us if you’re in a bad spot and we’ll take all the worry away from you.


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