The devastating aftermath of a house fire isn’t limited to property loss. Beyond the visible scars, you should also be aware of several short- and long-term health risks to better protect yourself and your loved ones.
How a House Fire Threatens Your Health
- Smoke inhalation: Inhaling smoke exposes you to harmful chemicals like carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide. This exposure can lead to respiratory complications such as bronchitis, emphysema, and even lung cancer.
- Mold growth: The water used to douse the flames creates a perfect breeding ground for mold. Prolonged exposure can worsen allergies and result in breathing problems. To counteract mold growth after a house fire, act quickly to dry out the structure and your belongings within 24 to 36 hours. Consider professional water damage restoration and mold remediation services for the best results.
- Sinus infections: Your sinuses may be irritated from inhaling smoke, chemicals, and mold spores. If you develop symptoms like coughing or shortness of breath weeks after the fire, it’s essential to see a doctor.
- Asbestos: Once a commonly used building material, asbestos becomes a major respiratory concern when fire damages the materials containing it. Inhaling asbestos fibers can cause serious complications, including mesothelioma. For these reasons, you should leave asbestos removal to the professionals after a house fire.
- Lead poisoning: Fire can release lead from certain building materials. Inhaling or ingesting lead can result in severe health issues, from brain damage to learning disabilities. Protect yourself by knowing about potential lead sources in your home and seeking professional remediation if needed.
- Skin and eye irritation: The toxins and chemicals left behind after a fire can cause skin irritation. Touching your eyes with sooty hands can also lead to eye problems. To avoid these complications, wash your body thoroughly and hire professionals to remove harmful residue from your living space.
- Food safety concerns: Foods stored close to where the fire burned may be contaminated. High temperatures can spoil canned or jarred food, while smoke and soot may ruin boxed or bagged food. To safeguard your health, dispose of all food after a house fire, even if items look untouched by smoke or flame.
- Mental and emotional trauma: Experiencing a house fire can leave emotional scars, leading to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Symptoms can range from flashbacks to anxiety. If you or a loved one is dealing with lingering trauma, seek counseling or therapy.
Why Professional Cleanup is Crucial
After a house fire, your first call should be to a fire damage restoration company. Professionals can help mitigate the immediate damage and guide you in minimizing associated health risks.
You deserve a dependable, transparent, and fully committed restoration team. With Pacific Flood Restoration, you receive high customer care from ethical professionals who explain everything upfront, ensuring no unpleasant surprises. Whether you’re dealing with a small kitchen fire or widespread fire damage, we have you covered. Protect your home, and protect your health; contact us at 760-815-3033 to request top-notch fire and smoke remediation in San Diego and North County San Diego.