When most of us are told that someone was injured in a fire, we often think about the terrible burns they may have been suffered explains NYC industrial fire accident attorney at the F&A Injury Law Firm in Manhattan. However, the main cause of death in most fires is smoke inhalation. In fact, somewhere between fifty and eighty percent (50 – 80%) of fire deaths are due to smoke inhalation. Of course, many fire victims must cope with both traumas.
The chief culprit tied to smoke inhalation is asphyxiation – the person accidentally inhales so much smoke that it becomes impossible to breathe in enough oxygen to remain alive.
Here’s a look at (1) how fires start (2) the types of combustible materials that often clog fire victims’ lungs and (3) the key symptoms of deadly smoke inhalation that must never be ignored — and often require immediate medical attention.
Combustible Materials Present During Many Fires
Hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen cyanide are just a few of the extremely unhealthy chemicals that often fill the air during fires. However, carbon monoxide causes the most smoke inhalation deaths. Since this gas is odorless and colorless, too many people are easily overcome by its deadly effects before they even realize what’s happened to them.
Although this gas is often produced during fires – it still poses a constant threat whenever smoke detectors aren’t present or functioning properly. In fact, in 2016, brave New York firefighters managed to save an entire Queens family that became seriously impaired by this deadly gas.
Common Characteristics of Industrial and Home Fires
When building owners fail to abide by state and local ordinances requiring adequate sprinkler systems, many fires quickly burn out of control. All owners should make sure all tenants pursue proactive safety measures – such as holding regular fire drills. Adequate fire warning systems are also necessary.
Home fires are also commonly caused by people smoking cigarettes in bed and
improperly using indoor/outdoor grills. Others too often carelessly use candles or
fail to properly maintain their fireplaces. Make sure that your home has a fully viable
fire/smoke alarm – and a carbon monoxide detector.
Additional home fire hazards include frayed wiring and the extensive use of electrical
extension cords. Too many of these cords are overloaded with high-energy appliance
plugs. Once a condo, house or apartment unit catches on fire, many types of toxic fumes
will quickly fill the air – often proving deadly within a few minutes.
All families and adult roommates should hold a practice fire drill at least twice a
year to be sure everyone knows how to quickly and safely exit the structure. Furthermore,
all pets should be quickly picked up and carried outdoors where one person should
immediately call 9-1-1.
Important Signs Someone May Be Suffering from Smoke Inhalation
Finally, if your home no longer has a landline, give serious thought to buying a back-up cell phone. That way, if your main phone is still charging, you’ll always have another one available to use for calling the fire department or 9-1-1. And after you get help, you can always reach a dedicated burn injury lawyer by dialing # 9-1-9 from any New York City area cell phone or toll free at (866) ATTY-LAW.