What Does Fire Damage Look Like?
The importance of preventing a fire in your home cannot be understated. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), "U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 355,400 home structure fires [between 2012 and 2016]." Over the same period, structural damage soared to $6.5 billion in costs. What, then, is the impact of fire and smoke damage?
Beyond Surface Damage
Assuming only mild harm, parts of walls and floors may turn yellow. Wooden and plastic surfaces may begin to distort. Because of acidic residue, stone surfaces like countertops and tiles may become discolored. Fire and smoke can also damage framing, insulation and air ducts even in rooms adjacent to the fire. Electrical appliances can fail or short-circuit from fused components. However, the most noticeable leftovers from a fire are the blackened furniture and walls covered in soot - the byproduct of excessive smoke; a strong detergent, bleach and soap should be able to remove it from the walls. Unfortunately, many porous fabrics will absorb the smoke and emit long-lasting odors.
Water Damage Related to Home Fires
Firefighters use around 3,000 gallons of water per house fire that extinguishes the flame and cools burning surfaces. That’s a lot of water, meaning your home is affected by smoke and water damage.
Health Problems Associated with Fire Damage
With smoky particulates thrown in the air, respiratory issues become a common health concern after a fire. Even partially-burned items can become toxic since they absorb and retain the particulates. Small, floating "drops" of soot after a fire can also be toxic and should be avoided at all costs. Of course, the most common culprit in post-fire poisoning is carbon monoxide. After the fire has sucked out nearly all the oxygen in an enclosed area, the byproduct is the odorless and colorless substance which can lead to headaches, dizziness, unconsciousness and even death. If water damage from putting out the fire is not properly addressed, mold will grow in places where water and moisture was not completely extracted, resulting in serious mold related health problems.
Prevention: How to Fire-Proof Your Home
What are the preventative measures you can take to reduce the risk of a home fire? The NFPA says that "having a working smoke detector in your home cuts the chance of perishing in a fire by 50%." Moreover, installing smoke detectors in each room increases your chances of awareness and survival.
Fire extinguishers can also help. After calling the fire department, these can be used to confine a fire in a smoke-less room. Multipurpose fire extinguishers are also able to minimize damage to wooden surfaces, liquids and electrical equipment.
While they're most often used in commercial buildings, automatic sprinkler systems can drastically reduce property damage and dramatically increase the chances of your survival. Since modern homes contain flammable materials that give you about 2-3 minutes of escape time, a system that prevents the fire from spreading is an invaluable resource to your home.
Need Charlotte Fire Damage Prevention Services?
We at E.R. Services can help defend your home against fires, whether from electrical mishaps or furnace issues. Give us a call at (704) 846-537l. We’ll make your home or business safe as can be, minimizing disruption to your life or business.
Quick question & answer: What does fire damage look like?
Fire damage is bad for your home and health. Under mild circumstances, parts of walls and floors may yellow, wooden and plastic areas may distort, and countertops may become discolored. Framing, insulation, and air ducts could be damaged and soot will likely be seen throughout the home. Respiratory issues are common afterwards, due to smoky particulates in the air.