A fire can be devastating on many levels, from the damage caused by the flames themselves to the injuries resulting from smoke exposure and the heat. But there is a hidden danger created by the smoke.
Smoke permeates throughout the property and can embed itself deep into fibres, wood, insulation and more, but it can have dangerous effects far beyond the initial fire.
The most common danger associated with smoke damage after a fire is the odour caused by the smoke.
Even a small fire can create a large amount of smoke and it seeps into almost every part of the property.
The smell of smoke can be overpowering and the bad odour can cause nausea and coughing.
When a fire burns through plastic and other toxic materials, poisons can become caught in the smoke and carried throughout the property.
The toxins can seep into the furniture, insulation and walls and settle in the duct work.
Breathing in these toxins can make you and your staff sick and may even require medical attention and hospitalisation, depending on what kind of toxins are present.
Most people are familiar with the damage associated with the fire, but smoke can also be a contributing factor to structural problems.
The smoke can weaken any wood that it seeps into, regardless if the wood had been exposed to fire. While the smoke damage is nowhere near that caused by the fire, over time, the wood can become structurally unsafe.
Fire and smoke damage to commercial premises costs UK businesses more than a billion pounds every year yet the total of insurance settlements paid out is significantly below that figure.
Fire and smoke has caused catastrophic physical damage to businesses. Just be aware of the hidden ones.