Smoke damage is a serious health hazard that accompanies most fires and results from soot and smoke settling on objects in your home.
But when you read “serious health hazard,” does that mean it’s unsafe to stay in a house with smoke damage? Or can you stay in your home while it’s being restored? And if temporary housing is necessary, for how long?
We’re answering these questions and more in today’s blog because you need to know how dangerous smoke damage is and how to handle it. Keep reading to learn how to respond to your home’s smoke damage.
What Is Smoke Damage?
As a homeowner or business owner, it’s essential to understand the dangers of smoke damage since it can make you sick and harm the structure of your home or building.
It Can Make You Sick
Smoke damage refers to the damage that smoke from a fire causes. When a fire starts, smoke and soot can spread throughout the affected area, leaving behind residue that can be difficult to remove and cause health issues for residents. Breathing in smoke and soot particles from burning materials can make you very sick.
It Can Damage Structures
Smoke residue can cause electrical and structural damage to a building. Smoke can corrode metal surfaces, deteriorate plastics, and discolor walls and ceilings. In some cases, smoke particles may also contain hazardous compounds that can react with other materials to form carcinogenic smoke residues.
The best way to protect yourself from the health risks associated with smoke damage is by avoiding contact with smoke residue until it has been properly remediated and removed.
Is It Safe to Stay in My Home?
Smoke damage can be a serious danger to any home. It can cause severe health problems and costly repairs if left unchecked. Smoke damage can occur after a fire, after long-term smoking in the house, or due to faulty ventilation systems.
The most dangerous smoke damage effects come from particulate matter (PM) chemicals. PM are microscopic particles in the air that you can inhale and that your skin can absorb.
PM can contain carcinogens, heavy metals, and other harmful toxins. Long-term exposure to these toxins can cause asthma, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other respiratory issues.
While PM is a major concern associated with smoke damage, it isn’t the only one. The soot residue left behind on walls and furniture can also damage your belongings. Soot is corrosive and acidic, damaging surfaces and leading to costly repairs if not taken care of promptly.
For these reasons, staying in a house with smoke damage for an extended period is unsafe until repairs are completed and certified as safe by an expert team.
When Can I Return to My Home?
When restoration experts come to your home to restore it from smoke damage, they can give you a good idea of how long it will be before you can live in your home again. Generally speaking, you can move back about 24 to 48 hours after restoration is complete, providing enough time for the cleaning chemicals to dissipate.
Prevent Smoke Damage in Your Home
Install Smoke Detectors in Your Home
Smoke detectors alert you to evacuate your home and call 911 when there’s a fire before it can cause significant damage to your home. The faster you can clean up smoke damage, the better off you’ll be, which is why smoke detectors are so essential.
You’ll want to install smoke detectors in key areas of your home, including near kitchens, bedrooms, and hallways, where you can hear them go off. It’s also important to regularly test your smoke detectors to ensure they are working properly.
Have Your Home Inspected for Safety
Have you considered having your home regularly inspected for safety? A safety inspection can identify potential hazards like outdated electrical wiring, overloaded outlets, and improperly stored flammable materials. Catching these errors right away can mitigate future damage.
During a home inspection, an expert will examine your smoke detectors to ensure they are functioning properly and determine if an upgrade is needed. It’s crucial to upgrade your smoke detectors right away if they’re out of date or malfunctioning. If they’re battery-operated, make sure the batteries are working properly.
Having your home inspected is a proactive step you can take to keep your family and home safe from the dangers of smoke damage. It will also give you peace of mind, knowing that you’re taking all the necessary steps to keep your family safe.
Respond Immediately to a Smoke Alarm
It’s critical to respond to a smoke alarm immediately. As soon as you hear it go off, you should evacuate your home and call 911. If a fire is blazing in your home, don’t try to put it out on your own.
Instead, wait for the fire department to come to your home. You won’t want to re-enter your home until the fire department has arrived, extinguished the fire, and declared it safe to enter.
Talk to your family about responding to a smoke alarm. Make sure everyone knows to evacuate your home immediately and to call emergency services once they have. It can be tempting to return to your home for prized possessions that you don’t want to lose, but your safety is more important.
Call Black Diamond Restoration Today
Smoke damage is a serious hazard to your home and your health, which is why it’s best left to the professionals. Black Diamond Restoration has the experts you’re looking for. If your home or business has suffered from smoke damage, we’re here to restore it to its pre-loss condition.
Black Diamond Restoration has decades of experience mitigating smoke and fire damage, along with water, mold, storm, and sewage damage. No matter what problem you’re facing, we’re here for you! Call us at 801.512.4194 to schedule your emergency service.