​Smoke is one of the most damaging aspect of a fire, both during the fire itself and afterwards. More people die from smoke inhalation than from burns in household fires. Even when people are safe from smoke, it can damage property to the extent that it cannot be repaired.

J&M Keystone, Inc. in San Diego offers complete smoke damage restoration and repair with professional services. With the help of J&M Keystone, Inc., you can recover from fire, smoke and soot damage and restore your property to its former state quickly and professionally.

Smoke is a Dangerous Thing

​Many people know that smoke is dangerous but they do not realize exactly how deadly it can be. According to experts, smoke from any type of fire is a mixture of both chemicals and particles suspended in air and composed of partially combusted carbon based materials. Smoke contains several potentially toxic or deadly gases including carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. It also contains particles consisting of chemicals like aldehyde, acid, sulfur, nitrogen and more complex chemical combinations such as toluene, styrene and benzene. The exact composition of smoke depends on what is burning and how much oxygen is available.

In a typical house fire, the burning materials contain a great deal of wood and other organic materials which produce thick, black smoke. This smoke can blind the occupants of a house and cause choking, noxious air that is hard to breathe. In many house fires, people die because they breathe this smoke in and eventually lose consciousness. They often die before they ever encounter any flames simply from being overwhelmed by smoke.

Immediately signs of smoke inhalation are burning eyes, runny nose, coughing, nausea and irritated throat. If smoke exposure continues, the individual will have trouble breathing and will eventually collapse.

Tips for Avoiding Smoke Dangers

​If you are caught in a fire, there are several things you can do to minimize the effects of smoke on you until you can get to safety, such as:

  • If you cannot leave a room, stuff towels, pillows, bedding or other thick objects into the cracks below doors. This will help keep the smoke out as long as possible. If you are able, wet the towels and bedding before putting it under the door.
  • Wet a towel or cloth and place it over your nose and mouth if possible.
  • Get as low to the ground as possible. Cool, clean air will be found near the floor as smoke tends to rise.
  • Try to limit your exertion. If you must yell for help, try to do so in bursts, covering your mouth with a cloth in between calling out. This can help you breathe more shallowly and inhale less smoke.
  • If possible, open a window to bring in fresh air. However, be careful about opening doors. If you open a door on a hallway full of smoke, for example, you may actually pull smoke into the room. In general, isolating yourself from the rest of the building is the goal.
  • If you are staying in a hotel or any unfamiliar place, be sure that you know where the exits are located. For example, in a hotel, count the number of doors between your room and the nearest stairwell or exit. This is extremely important if the hallways are full of smoke; you may not be able to see even lighted exit signs.

​Smoke can be very dangerous in a fire, so treat it with respect. Just because you do not feel lightheaded or you are not coughing does not mean you are not losing oxygen from smoke inhalation.

Cleaning Up from Smoke Damage

​Once everyone is out safely and the fire has been extinguished, the problem of smoke damage remains. Smoke can cause all sorts of problems for home or business owners and the damage caused by smoke requires professional cleaning techniques.

Smoke can quickly damage delicate fabrics and metals such as copper and brass. However, if left untreated, smoke can work its way into other substances as well and, over time, can lead to corrosion and destruction of almost any material. If your home’s or business’s contents are subjected to smoke, it is very important to get professional cleaning help immediately. Ideally, smoke damage remediation and cleanup should occur within 24 hours of a fire, but ultimately the sooner the better.

J&M Keystone, Inc. is a San Diego company that has been providing smoke damage cleanup for over 30 years to home and business owners throughout southern California. J&M Keystone, Inc. offers professional smoke damage remediation including cleaning, sanitizing, deodorizing and repairing buildings and contents so that the damage from smoke is lessened and home and business owners can get back into their properties as soon as possible. J&M Keystone, Inc. is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.