Fires don’t just cause significant damage to your property —they can also damage your health as well.  Damage to your body can often be less visible than the destruction to your home and can also build up over time. After a fire, there are a lot of different tasks to take care of in order to get your life back on track. During this time, don’t forget to prioritize your health and safety.

Difficulty Breathing: Difficultly breathing, along with other respiratory-related issues, are a common health risk associated with fire damage. Breathing in lingering smoke can cause shortness of breath, coughing, asthma, and more. Just because the smoke isn’t visible, doesn’t mean the smoke still isn’t trapped in your home. Porous materials such as fabric, drywall, and many types of furniture can trap smoke and keep it in your property.

Skin Irritation: Smoke and soot can cause a variety of skin irritations. Similar to the breathing issues associated with fire damage, the lingering remnants of the fire can remain undetected in your home and continue to cause health issues. Skin dryness can also occur due to smoke. These skin issues can often be difficult to treat, as lotions are generally not effective against smoke-related skin irritation. Be extra careful of wearing clothes that were damaged by or present during the fire, as even after washing, harmful irritants can remain in the fabric. Contact a textile professional that specializes in fire damaged clothing.

Eye Issues: Eyes are especially sensitive to smoke and the lingering smoke following a fire at your property. The smoke can cause your eyes to turn red and tear, as well as become itchy. Rubbing the eyes only increases the irritation. As smoke damage is not always visible, significant irritation can occur over time.  The release of chemicals caused by fire damage can be particularly harmful, so contact a healthcare professional if your eye irritation continues over time without any relief.

Long Term Health Problems: Long-term health risks can often be one of the most dangerous side-effects of a fire, simply because the damage is not visible until it is too late to fix. When a fire on your property occurs, it has the potential to burn materials constructed out of harmful chemicals that are then released into the environment. Therefore, there are a variety of long-term health issues that can stem from fire damage, so taking early, preventive action against them is highly recommended in order to keep you and your family safe. Increased risks of cancer, strokes, and heart attacks can all be linked to fire damage in your home.

Following a fire on your property, be sure to use professional help to thoroughly clean your property and cut down on any fire damage related health risks. Nothing is more important than you and your family’s health, especially long-term. If you or any member of your family are experiencing any of these issues after a fire, schedule an appointment with a doctor as soon as possible to cut down on any lasting physical damage to your body.