Smoke inhalation is the number one cause of death related to fatal fires. An estimated 50%-80% of fire deaths are the result of smoke inhalation injuries rather than serious burns, fatal falls, or buildings collapsing. Incidents of fatal smoke inhalation are numerous as it is estimated that in the United States, each year over 30,000 people are killed or seriously injured by fire and smoke inhalation.
If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one from smoke inhalation, Texas Smoke Inhalation Lawyer Jason Coomer provides free online evaluations of fire death claims and smoke inhalation claims. Feel free to submit an inquiry through our contact form or send an e-mail for a Free Online Evaluation of your potential fire smoke inhalation claim by an Austin Texas fire and smoke inhalation Attorney.
A working smoke detector provides an early warning of a house fire and can prevent serious injuries and death. This is why a working smoke alarm on every level of a home and in each bed room is an important safety feature to have in your home. The United States Fire Administration provides information on smoke alarms including the following brochure on What You Need to Know about Smoke Alarms as well as information on defective smoke detectors that you should be aware of and avoid.
As of December 2007, the United States Fire Administration had recalls notices on Digital Security Controls FSA and FSB Series Smoke Detectors, First Alert Onelink Battery-Powered Smoke and Combination Smoke/Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarms, and BRK Brand Hard-Wired Battery Back-Up Smoke Alarms, Models 4120B and 4120SB. For more information on these smoke alarms, contact the United States Fire Administration or the manufacturers of these products.
Defective smoke detectors and smoke alarms are especially problematic for fires that occur at night, when people are sleeping, when people are disabled, or when the fire is hidden. This is because a failure to warn of a fire can allow the fire to spread. Once the fire has spread smoke can accumulate taking away oxygen and creating toxic fumes that can cause people and pets to pass out from smoke inhalation.
Smoke inhalation from a house fire, gas explosion, building fire, or a carbon monoxide leak can cause difficulty breathing, carbon monoxide poisoning, and other toxic effects that can result in serious injuries or even death. Smoke inhalation occurs when a person breathes in smoke or the products of combustion during a fire. The fire not only uses the surrounding oxygen in the air taking the oxygen that humans need to breathe, but through burning or combustion (the rapid breakdown of a substance by heat) creates smoke which is a mixture of heated particles and gases that are created by burning.
It is impossible to predict the exact composition of smoke produced by a residential fire or industrial fire as every accident fire is different. The products being burned, the temperature of the fire, and the amount of oxygen available to the fire all make a difference in the type of smoke produced. This is especially true when furniture, appliances, and other items made up of plastic or other chemicals is burned. The resulting smoke can be filled with irritants or toxins and result in serious respiratory problems or even death.
Smoke inhalation can damage the body by simple asphyxiation (lack of oxygen), chemical irritation, chemical asphyxiation, or a combination of these. Combustion can use up the oxygen near the fire and lead to death when there is no oxygen for a person to breathe. Smoke itself can also contain products that do not cause direct harm to a person, but they take up the space that is needed for oxygen. Carbon dioxide acts in this way.
Combustion can also result in the formation of chemicals that cause direct injury when they contact the skin and mucous membranes. These substances disrupt the normal lining of the respiratory tract. This disruption can potentially cause swelling, airway collapse, and respiratory distress. Examples of chemical irritants found in smoke include sulfur dioxide, ammonia, hydrogen chloride, and chlorine.
A fire also can produce compounds that do damage by interfering with the body's oxygen use at a cellular level. Carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, and hydrogen sulfide are all examples of chemicals produced in fires that interfere with the use of oxygen by the cell during the production of energy. If either the delivery of oxygen or the use of oxygen is inhibited, cells will die.
Smoke inhalation can cause health problems that result in coughing, shortness of breath, hoarseness, headaches, changes in mental status, changes in skin coloration, and passing out.
The first step in treating a person
suffering from smoke inhalation is to remove the person from
the smoke-filled environment to a location with clean air.
The second step is to start CPR and make sure that they are
getting oxygen. Oxygen may be applied with a nose
tube, mask, or through a tube down the throat. If the
patient has signs and symptoms of upper airway problems
(hoarseness), they will most likely be intubated. The doctor
places a tube down the throat to keep the airway from
closing due to swelling.
If the patient has respiratory distress or mental status changes, they may also be intubated to let the staff help with breathing, to suction off mucus, and keep the patient from choking on secretions. If the smoke inhalation is bad enough, a bronchoscopy may have to be done to directly look at the degree of damage done to the airways and to allow for suctioning of secretions and debris.
If the patient has carbon monoxide poisoning, the use of a hyperbaric chamber for hyberaric oxygenation may be considered. This treatment use compressed oxygen to help the person's blood gases return to normal. A complete blood count may also be done to determine if there are enough red blood cells to carry oxygen, enough white blood cells to fight infection, and enough platelets to ensure clotting can occur. Carboxyhemoglobin and methemoglobin levels are also typically measured in all smoke inhalation victims with respiratory distress, altered mental status, low blood pressure, seizures, fainting, and blood pH changes.
Faulty wiring, defective appliances, negligent storage, faulty construction, negligent maintenance, lack of fire detection devices and/or prevention equipment, as well as careless and negligent actions cause many fires that wrongfully kill people, severely burn & injure others, and destroy property. Home fires (apartment fire, duplex fire, and house fire) can be especially devastating as they often occur at night when people are sleeping allowing the fire to get into walls and create smoke that can incapacitate families before they can get out causing serious injury or death as well as destroy a life time worth of possessions.
When purchasing, renting, or deciding to live in an older home it is important to know when it was built and if it was built with aluminum wiring in it. This is because many homes built in the 1960s and 1970s were built with aluminum wiring that can over heat and cause a fire. Additionally, over time the aluminum wiring in these homes typically deteriorate making the risk of an accidental electrical fire increase.
If you own or are thinking of buying or renting an older home it is important to know if you have aluminum wiring. If your home will have aluminum wiring, it is also a good idea to review the Consumer Product Safety Commissions Recommendation for Aluminum Wiring in Homes and to make sure that your home has working smoke detectors. This knowledge can help avoid a fatal home fire or fire tragedy.
Austin Texas Home Fire Claims (Aluminum Wiring & Defective Smoke Detectors: Increased Risk of Fatal Home Fire)
Both aluminum wiring and defective smoke detectors increase the risk of a fatal home fire that could cause devastating loss of life, serious burns, catastrophic injuries, and significant property damage. It is always best to lower these risk as much as possible for your health and safety as well as that of your family.
Austin Texas Home Fire lawyer handles fatal fire claims and other accidental fire claims that cause serious injuries, significant loss of property, or death. Recovering from a home fire, can be difficult. Not only is there the loss of life or serious injuries to deal with, but the actual clean up and rebuilding. From the fire damage to smoke and fire suppression damage, residential fire claim typically require significant resources to clean up and rebuild the home. As such, it can be extremely difficult to deal not only with the loss of life, injuries, and damages, but to also deal with the builder, insurance company, or other large company that may be responsible for the home fire.
It is often beneficial to hire a home fire lawyer or fatal fire lawyer to assist in seeking compensation for home fire. A good residential fire lawyer will investigate the cause of the fire and work with fire cause and origin experts to determine the cause and origin of the fire. This investigation is extremely important as it is the person seeking compensation that has the burden to prove what caused the fire including faulty installation of electrical wiring, appliances, gas lines, or gas meters or defective parts including aluminum wiring, defective gas meters, defective gas lines, defective gas control valves, or defective flexible gas connectors. It is also important to determine if there were working smoke detectors or flame detectors in the home.
This Austin Texas smoke inhalation lawyer represents fire and smoke inhalation clients throughout Texas. He also works with other smoke inhalation and fire lawyers throughout Texas and the United States including Houston Smoke Inhalation Lawyers, Dallas Smoke Inhalation Lawyers, and San Antonio Smoke Inhalation Lawyers.
The Law Offices of Jason S. Coomer, P.L.L.C. helps individuals seriously injured by fire and smoke inhalation and the families of those killed by smoke inhalation. If you or a member of your family has suffered severe smoke inhalation as a result of a fire Texas fire and smoke inhalation lawyer, Jason Coomer, may be able to assist you with a fire and smoke inhalation claim. If you need a Texas fire and smoke inhalation lawyer to represent you with a fire or smoke inhalation claim, contact Texas Smoke Inhalation lawyer Jason Coomer.