The Dangers of Smoke Inhalation

Smoke When caught in a house fire, it is incredibly rare victims succumb to injury from contact with the fire itself. That’s because most fatalities are rooted in smoke inhalation. The origin of most fatalities in structure fires, smoke inhalation greatly reduces oxygen intake and leads to lost consciousness, leaving you defenseless from the elements.
Smoke inhalation- not heat from the fire or building – is the primary reason it is imperative to escape a structure fire as quickly as possible. It is the cause of death in 80% of all house fire fatalities. It is the equivalent of placing a plastic bag over your head and a 180 degree room, and the longer you experience this, the less likely you are to survive.
A mixture of heated particles and gases, composed of any number of gases- depending on what exactly is being burned- is not friendly to your breathing. Smoke has very little oxygen in compared to the air we breathe on a regular basis. We breathe air composed of about 21% oxygen, which compares to less than 2% oxygen emitted from a typical house fire.
Because you are essentially experiencing suffocation when experiencing smoke inhalation, you experience the same effects. These can include anything and everything from confusion, seizures, and possible coma when having experienced prolonged exposure to smoke. This is why it is imperative to install anti fire systems, such as automated sprinklers and extinguishing, in your home or building.
What happens in the movies is not reality. No matter how much a hero someone is, it is nearly impossible to run into a burning building thanks to the effects acrid smoke has on a person’s breathing and visibility. Because you can’t protect yourself from falling debris or scorching fire when you have lost consciousness thanks to smoke inhalation, it is the primary factor in structure fire death.

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