Protecting Your Health After A House Fire
Written by Jennifer Amstell, a local contributor to NMVFC
A house fire is clearly an extremely hazardous situation, but there are long lasting effects that may not be as obvious. In the short-term, the hard work of the community and firefighters often makes injury unlikely, as last year’s Warpas Road blaze showed. However, smoke inhalation can lead to respiratory ailments and in the long-term will increase the risk of heart disease and COPD, according to UW Medicine. Furthermore, mold, smoke particulates and structural damage can also set in to fire damaged homes, leading to damaged health. Smart fire prevention is the first step to maintaining your safety, but in the worst case situation, there are further steps to take.
Fire damage and mold
Mold can be one of the most harmful issues in any home, let alone a smoke affected one. Mold can create and exacerbate allergies, making it advantageous to have a house as free from spores as possible. Fire damage creates the perfect conditions in which mold can flourish. For example, one notable public building fire in OR resulted in rapid onset of mold in building cavities. This creates costly and complicated cleanup costs, but most importantly, poses a risk to your family’s health. Ensure you proof your home from mold in the case of house fire and make use of professionals – Madison tech gurus CL&P are one example of companies focusing in on the effects of accidental damage.
Residual smoke particles
Many houses work with sophisticated HVAC and airflow systems that, by design, ensure pollutants in the home leave and don’t linger in rooms. To enhance this, many families now deploy air filters to improve quality further. A house fire can put paid to all of this. Extensive cleanup needs to be taken, either professionally or between the community. In the event it does not, there are risks; smoke particles will stay in the atmosphere for a long term, and as the EPA notes, this will lead to lung damage if unfiltered.
Tackling structural damage
House fires will have many obvious impacts with clean-up tackling the symptoms. However, what is less obvious is structural damage. After a house fire many home owners will ensure a full survey is carried out, and this will often be necessary in order to obtain new insurance after a payout has been completed. Despite this, problems can arise further down the line. Take a vigilant eye so you don’t lose your family home, and make sure you actively maintain your property against any potential future problems.
A house fire is a devastating incident for any family, but with the help of the fire service and community, many will move back and enjoy their home once more. As a result, it’s incredibly important to be vigilant of the potential long-term problems a post-fire home will present. Do this, and you can safeguard your happiness and your family’s health.