No fire without smoke: The lowdown on smoke inhalation.

By Jeremy Blake
Monday 13th July, 20205 minute to read

The British summer has been glorious. With weather reaching highs not seen since 1876 across the country, UK residents are finally seeing the type of August sunshine which we only previously heard about from our parents.

However, this unparalleled level of sunshine has also brought with it some shadow. Shadow cast by the horrific and near-unstoppable outbreak of fire across some of our most barren moorlands in areas including Saddleworth, near Manchester and Lancashire’s Winter Hill.

At a time when Britons should have been celebrating the sun, instead many have found themselves battling against one of nature’s most furious enemies – smoke.

The true impact of large-scale fires

According to the BBC, local people in proximity to both of these recent outbreaks of fire have been paying the price for their closeness. Residents have experienced irritation in air passages, skin and eye complaints, breathlessness, coughing, wheezing, and chest pain. Those with existing asthma gave found their condition significantly escalated in terms of severity and persistence,

While these immense outbreaks of fire are causing significant distress to local residents, outbreaks of fire can lead to even more distressing outcomes when they are enclosed within a single building. Smoke inhalation is the primary cause of death for individuals caught within a building on fire, rather than the danger posed by the flames themselves.

It’s not a positive subject to talk about, but it’s important to raise awareness of what architects and designers can do to ensure that the buildings they are designing or constructing have a fail-proof system in place for minimising smoke output and maximising smoke ventilation and strong alarm systems.

Safeguarding against the dangers of smoke indoors

Within building design and improvement, it’s critical to consider not just the mechanics of smoke detection, but the practical measures which can be taken to reduce or eliminate the danger once residents or inhabitants are alerted to the presence of fire.

This is because it takes just two minutes for an individual to become incapacitated by smoke inhalation to the extent that their safety is compromised. If there is more oxygen in the room, this affords more time. However, fire consumes oxygen to burn, which means that levels are decreasing incrementally for as long as the fire is not quenched.

Given this, the more options we can provide within each building to increase smoke ventilation, the safer inhabitants will be. We offer a range of fully-certified automatic smoke ventilation systems, to reduce smoke and heat build-up. These simple, cost-effective measures provide people in the presence of smoke with invaluable additional time to safeguard themselves.

If you would like one of our friendly smoke experts to discuss opportunities for strengthening the safety of your building in withstanding the dangers of smoke inhalation, please get in touch today and see how the team at Sertus can help.

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