Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cleaning Up After a Chicago Fire

By Maryl Joop

Suffering a fire in an individual's or family's West Chicago home can be an extremely destructive and stressful ordeal. West Chicago fire damage incurred through fires that ignite with in a home can cause massive amounts of damage to not only the structure but to a person's possessions.

Even a small kitchen fire can cause extreme damage to be incurred on a person's property due to the corrosive compounds found in the smoke produced by fires.

When a fire burns it naturally produces a chemical and poisonous mixture of gases, liquids and particulates that include potentially deadly compounds.

This is because as a fire burns it fundamentally changes the chemical make up of whatever item is being burned through the introduction of intense heat. As an item or material is heated, the base compounds that make up the item or material are changed and released from each other.

This chemical reaction brought on by the introduction of severe heat from a fire produces the phenomenon known as smoke. Different gasses and particulates will appear in different types of fires due to the different items that are being burned.

Therefore every fire will have different dangers due the different items that are releasing their chemical make up into the air through smoke. There are, however, generalities in found in the chemical composition of smoke produced by common fire house fires.

The most typical and perhaps the most deadly gas found in all smoke is the poisonous gas carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide gasses are poisonous to humans and cause quick incapacitation due to the loss of consciousness.

There are also other deadly chemicals that can be found in smoke that include sulfuric, hydrofluoric and hydrochloric acids. These different forms of acid that are found in smoke are extremely corrosive and dangerous to many types of materials but can be especially dangerous to humans if they are inhaled through breathing in smoke.

Because of all of the dangerous, toxic and poisonous compounds and gases that are found in smoke, smoke inhalation is the leading cause of death for those who have perished in structure or home fires with estimates of 50 to 80 percent of fire fatalities coming from smoke inhalation. Persons who are caught in a house fire typically succumbed to smoke inhalation and either pass out due to the lack of oxygen and presence of carbon monoxide or the severe damage caused by the corrosive agents and acids that are present in smoke.

To avoid falling victim to the dangers of smoke inhalation, individuals and families should plan and prepare ahead of time for the event of a fire in their West Chicago home. West Chicago fire damage can be incurred at any time of the year and for a multitude of reasons.

The best way to prepare now for a fire emergency in the future is by developing an action plan of how to escape the home in the event of a fire. Consider using damp clothes to cover the nose and mouth to avoid inhaling dangerous smoke particles. By being prepared and by understanding the dangers of smoke inhalation a family and an individual can be more likely to survive a deadly house fire.

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