The smoke smell from a fire is always strong, but is it dangerous to breathe in? Can it hurt you like the flames from a fire? Or is it harmless, something you can ignore?
The answer is, smoke smell is hazardous and can cause serious harm to anyone who breathes it in. In today’s blog, we’re breaking down what causes it and why it’s so bad for you.
What Causes Smoke Smell?
Anywhere there’s a fire, there’s smoke. The smoke comes from the particles and chemicals that are released through materials containing carbon. These particles and chemicals begin to release as soon as the fire starts.
You won’t find smoke that doesn’t contain carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and soot. But these aren’t the only chemicals that burn in fires. Other examples include:
- Acid gases
- Sulfur dioxide
- Nitrogen oxides
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
How much of these chemicals are present when a fire burns? That all depends on the fire. What’s burning, and how hot is the fire? How much oxygen is there? What you’re burning, the temperature it’s burning at, and the levels of oxygen all affect chemical levels.
When Does Smoke Cause Harm?
Being exposed to smoke for a prolonged period is bad for you. The longer you’re exposed to it, the worse the potential health risks. While you’re around the fire, you might notice irritation in your eyes, nose, and throat. You might even get nauseous. These are all signs that your body is negatively reacting to the smoke.
It’s not a good idea to breathe in heavy smoke, but if you can’t avoid it, try not to exert yourself very much. Keeping things low-key will help your lungs handle the high smoke levels. The more you exert yourself, the more injured your lungs could get.
Long-Term Health Effects
There are fine particles in smoke, including carbon monoxide gas and microscopic particles that are 2.5 microns or smaller. It takes 25,400 microns to make one whole inch to give you some perspective.
These particles are so small that you can’t see them with your naked eye. Their minuscule size makes it easy for them to travel deep into your respiratory tract, where they can cause severe health issues.
You could deal with long-term respiratory irritation that makes you cough and leaves you short of breath. Do you have asthma or a heart condition? Smoke smell can also aggravate these types of symptoms. Chronic exposure to high smoke levels can also contribute to cardiovascular disease, cancer, lung disease, and more.
Were you exposed to smoke smell? Was there a fire? If so, you might be experiencing health issues or damage to your home and property. You should seek medical treatment if you’re experiencing symptoms. But as for your home and property, you should call Restoremasters.
We’re experts at remediating, repairing, and restoring homes to a new life after a fire. We’re located in Northern Utah. We serve Ogden, Tooele, Salt Lake City, Park City, Provo, and everywhere in between.
If your home is damaged, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Restoremasters is here to restore your home!