A new study has shown that the number of cancer related death for firefighters of the age 75 or under are three times higher compared to the general population in the UK.
Unless you are in the industry, most will be unaware of the toxicity of smoke. It’s not just heat that causes damage. Temperatures in even the smallest of fires regularly exceeds 1000 degrees centigrade. Smoke is insidious and remains a big problem long after a fire has been extinguished.
Fire and smoke damage is extremely destructive, and is one of the most unpleasant things you can experience
Fire and smoke damage is very complex, and this should be considered when it comes to fire and smoke repairs. As well as the smoke, you normally have to contend with water damage emanating from fire brigade hoses used to extinguish the flames. This can often cause more damage than a fire itself. The associated problems of fire and smoke damage may go beyond the surfaces, walls and ceilings to issues that are not detectable just by looking.
If the smoke or water has been absorbed into the building’s superstructure, these will require more than cleaning. Identifying this is critical and requires specialist knowledge and equipment.
Smoke will ruin furniture, textiles, upholstery and electrical items. Some items can be restored however more than likely anything damaged will usually have to be replaced. Smoke leaves an acidic film on surfaces. Very often a chemical reaction occurs when the smoke particles are airborne. Chlorides from plastics that have burnt mix with hydrogen in the air to become hydrogen chloride and we all know the corrosive potential of this compound. Any surfaces damaged by smoke that is left untreated will compromise the very integrity of your structure. Smoke damage causes discoloration and leaves an unpleasant odour.
Different types of materials burning release a multitude of toxins that become airborne. Spiders webs are a great way to see the particles as these stick to the webs and are jet black. The oily film you feel on all the surfaces is acidic and harmful. It may react your skin and can cause irritation.
A smoked property is unsafe. Let’s be clear, until it has been decontaminated the potential exists for serious harm. Most of the toxins present are known carcinogens. Smoke damage clean-ups must be undertaken by professionals and requires specialist knowledge and cleaning equipment.
Ventilate the property. Remove any radical particles that remain airborne/. Open your windows and doors.
This is the maximum you can do. The odour and contaminates will not get any better than this achieves.
Smoke damage cleaning products react with the smoke residue as they attack the soot, creating fumes that can be harmful to your respiratory system. The clean-up is arduous and a complicated process that involves a specific sequence of steps. It is impossible to remove 100% of the smoke particles and anything whereby the ability to clean is reduced, should be replaced.