Smoke damage often sticks around long after a house fire, and it’s not always apparent to those who live there. If you’ve experienced a house fire, it’s natural to want things to return to normal as quickly as possible. But is it safe to sleep in a house that’s experienced damage from fire and smoke? Here’s everything you need to know.
The Risks of Smoke Inhalation
Even a small fire can produce a serious amount of smoke, and opening the windows to air things out simply isn’t enough. Smoke and residue from a fire can pose a serious risk to your family’s health and well-being.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, thousands of deaths occur in house fires yearly, and more than half of those deaths are due to smoke inhalation.
Many people falsely believe the danger is gone once a fire is put out. In reality, smoke residue can linger for an extended period and wreak havoc on your health. It settles on the carpet and floors, inside dresser drawers, closets, and drapes.
Windows and blinds, rugs, and furniture will catch particulate smoke matter and if they aren’t professionally cleaned, the smoke damage in house materials will continue to cause problems for you and your family.
Smoke Damage Is Often Invisible
Most of the damage from house fires is very evident. You can’t miss charred walls and blackened materials. But there’s invisible damage that might be lingering, and fire damage restoration is essential to removing all smoke residue before you attempt to sleep in the house again.
Even a small house fire caused by a malfunctioning appliance or a kitchen fire can spread smoke to the furthest corners of your house. Smoke moves through your house quickly, settling in the cooler areas and covering everything with odor and residue.
Smoke and soot penetrate deep into your walls and home furnishings, so it’s extremely difficult to remove on your own. It will also find its way into your home’s ductwork, and your HVAC system, so professional fire damage restoration is key to getting rid of the residue completely.
Don’t fall into the trap of believing that just because you can’t see or smell any smoke residue, it isn’t there. Act quickly and contact a smoke removal team right away so you can get your home and family back on track without exposing yourselves to the health risks associated with living with smoke damage in house materials.
Health Concerns With Smoke Damage in House
Smoke contains an extremely toxic mixture of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and soot. It’s not a good idea for anyone to breathe in this mixture since the fine particles inside can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause serious, lasting damage. But, for those who have asthma or suffer from other respiratory illnesses, it’s even worse.
Breathing in smoke can cause permanent and severe damage to the lungs of those with asthma and respiratory disease. Bronchitis and emphysema can be caused or worsened by prolonged breathing of smoke, which may be lifelong.
Those with cardiovascular disease may also have stronger-than-normal reactions to smoke inhalation. It’s common for them to experience heart palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath, and fatigue while being exposed to smoke and smoke residue. If you or one of your loved ones is experiencing health problems after a fire, call 911 immediately.
In addition to the many long-lasting health problems that can arise from breathing in smoke, there are generally some immediate physical reactions as well. Sleeping or spending any amount of time in lingering smoke can cause eye irritation, itching, and redness.
Fine smoke particles in the air also cause itchy, dry patches on the skin. Eye drops and lotion might help temporarily relieve some discomfort, but it’s most likely that these symptoms will remain until the root cause is treated and all the smoke residue is professionally removed.
Why Sleeping in a House with Smoke Damage Is a Bad Idea
It’s never fun to be displaced because of a house fire. You might be left staying in a hotel or shacking up with family and friends for several days or even weeks. This leaves victims of house fires feeling very anxious to return home, and many people attempt to do so once all the visible smoke has cleared. They mistakenly believe that it’s safe to return home without realizing the damage that breathing in smoke particles can cause.
Your home is filled with synthetic materials that release harmful chemicals when they’re burned. These chemicals, along with other smoke particles, penetrate your lungs when breathed in. This can cause long-term and sometimes fatal side effects.
It’s important to recognize that smoke residue isn’t always visible and can continue to cause problems for you and your family if it’s not cleaned up properly by a professional disaster cleanup team. It’s not safe to sleep in your house after a fire, regardless of the size, location, or cause, until the smoke residue has been removed. After that point, you may head home and sleep soundly knowing that your family is safe from the dangers of smoke inhalation.
Call Utah Disaster Clean Up Today
Fire and smoke damage can be devastating, but you cannot ignore it. Even small fires can cause extensive damage. That’s why the smoke and fire damage restoration team at Utah Disaster Cleanup is here to help. We are located in Murray and offer fast, friendly, and professional services across northern Utah.
We know many fires happen late at night or at other inconvenient times, so we are available to respond to emergencies 24/7. Our team will take care of all the deep cleaning, damage removal, and restoration of your property, so you don’t have to worry about the lingering effects of smoke and fire damage. We’ll even help you file an insurance claim. To get started, call us at 435-512-1584 or fill out the simple form on our website, and we’ll be in touch shortly.