How Smoke Damage Can Affect Your Health and Home

smoke damage

The effects of fires can be devastating, especially from smoke damage within your home, affecting both your home and your health.

It may not be obvious that smoke damage is affecting your health as much as it is your home. However, it is important to know the effects of both to ensure your health and wellbeing are protected.

Even the smallest of fires or burning can create smoke damage. According to the governments national statistics of fire and rescue incidents, 2020 saw 153,278 fires in the UK. Whether a fire is big or small, it can create visible and obvious smoke damage. At the same time it can create damage in areas that you may assume wouldn’t have been affected. Just because fires may be contained to particular rooms doesn’t mean that its damage isn’t present throughout the property.

There are 4 main types of smoke damage that can be identified:

Wet Smoke Damage

Wet smoke is produced from the burning of many properties’ appliances and contents that are made from rubber and plastic. This can be created by smouldering fires that burn slowly, with low heat and likely with no flames.

Although easy to identify through its smell and appearance of being thick, black and sticky, the smoke can be hard to remove without a professional service due to smearing which occurs when cleaning the damaged surface.

Dry Smoke Damage

This is the opposite of wet smoke, burning fast with high temperatures. This typically starts through the burning of wood and paper and is very common amongst most fires. The texture of this smoke is powdery, so it doesn’t smear when cleaned like wet smoke does.

Subtle and gradual, it can very easily get through the cracks and porous materials within your property’s structure. Therefore, it can create lingering smells throughout the property. Although not strong, this usually needs professional help, to get rid of any present odour.

Protein Residue Smoke Damage

This is where organic materials can evaporate through low-heat fires. This is most likely to happen in commercial properties, such as kitchens and restaurants. These organic materials can includes meats, oils and fats, which produce a lot of smoke when cooked. This means that there doesn’t need to be a fire for this smoke damage.

Although not very visible to the eye, apart from the odd ceiling and wall discolouration, the smell can be strong and can last and spread if not treated.

Fuel & Oil Residue Smoke Damage

This type of damage is from a fire started from fuels or other extremely flammable liquids. These are unlikely to be kept within the home, but rather in a home’s garage, shed, or at industrial properties.

The residue from this type of fire is caused from ‘puffbacks’, where the smoke damage will be dark in colour and released in large quantities, meaning the damage can be worse than others and is very hard to clean due to the stickiness of fuel.

How it affects your health

Staying in a property with smoke damage can affect your health, even if the fire was contained to one room in the property.

Death from fires are more often than not as a result of smoke inhalation, so it would be naive to think that the after effects of smoke won’t effect your health. It is in fact very hazardous to inhale.

It may not show any effects at first but inhaling smoke particles in a property with carbon monoxide still present, can negatively affect your health over a period of time. This includes your breathing, lungs, sinuses, skin, heart and brain.

It is especially dangerous for the elderly, children and those with weak immune systems.

It is best to avoid a property until the smoke damage has been cleared by professionals to avoid any further risks. They can ensure it is cleaned and smoke removed efficiently and quickly to keep you living and working in a safe environment without the potential of any further effects.

CPL t/a Rainbow International provide an emergency call-out service for emergencies, available 24,7 and 365 days a year.

Our fire restoration service deep-cleans the buildings and contents affected by smoke and fire, as well as removing soot from the premises, PAT testing electrical appliances and ensuring all unseen areas are fully decontaminated.

Following a fire, it is most important that the clean-up begins as soon as possible to minimise the lasting damage. Our fire and smoke damage cleaning team are available on a 24/7 call out, and work quickly and effectively to restore your home or business

For further information about our range of smoke damage removal services, please contact us on 0808 196 0363.