Your lungs are delicate yet powerful organs that are capable of holding several liters of air, about six for an adult male. In your lungs, your bloodstream picks up oxygen molecules and dumps carbon dioxide waste. When your lungs are exposed to smoke and other irritants, it can destroy the thin air sacs necessary for breathing. This can result in long-term complications for your respiratory system.
Surprisingly, smoke inhalation is actually the primary cause of death related to fires. In fact, as much as 80% of fire-related deaths are due to smoke inhalation and not burns. As fires burn, the combustion produces waste products in the form of ashes and smoke. First, fires consume oxygen, which can rob the atmosphere of the air that you need to breath. In its place, fires can leave noxious chemicals as well as irritating toxic gases. This is the first danger-asphyxiation.
Next, depending on the other source of fuel, fires can burn items whose chemical makeup results in the release of dangerous gases. These chemicals can affect your body all the way to its cellular level, which means that the gas can basically “choke” your cells. Types of chemical gases commonly released in a fire include carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, and hydrogen sulfide.
Lastly, some gases produced by fires contain irritant compounds that can actually burn your airways and inflame your lungs. The windpipe, and especially the lungs, rely on a mucus membrane to protect themselves as well as ease in the transfer of oxygen. Irritants produced by fires can scorch this mucus membrane and irritate the lining of the lungs. These irritants in smoke can include ammonia, sulfur dioxide, and chlorine.
After you experience smoke inhalation, it can cause several adverse symptoms, including:
-Rough, noisy breathing
-Pale or bluish skin
-Shortness of breath
-Loss of consciousness
The best way to protect yourself from these symptoms is to protect yourself form the smoke itself. Because smoke is the primary indicator of a fire, smoke detectors are a very important safety feature for houses as well as business, schools, and other structures. For more information, contact Austin fire protection services from Ace Fire Equipment today.