Dangers of Smoke

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1 min 39 sec
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Smoke has the potential to cause much more harm than the fire itself. People can die from smoke inhalation far quicker than from the fire itself because smoke spreads quicker and starves the room of oxygen in an incredibly short amount of time. 

Understanding the characteristics of smoke can help you get out of a building more effectively, therefore ensuring people stay safe. Smoke itself will rise. This is due to convection currents, meaning that hot gases will rise above colder ones. So if you have to evacuate an area filled will smoke, stay as low as you can. This may mean crawling along the floor, but if it’s the only place where there’s oxygen left, you have a much higher chance of surviving. Smoke itself can also burn as it can be very hot, causing lung injuries and burns to the respiratory system. Even a small amount of smoke can affect your sight and you can become disorientated very quickly, becoming unable to find the exits, even in a familiar building.

Buildings will have plans in place to deal with smoke and the larger ones may have smoke vents or screens to divert it away from areas where people or exits are. Lots of fire doors are now being made not only to contain the fire itself but also to prevent the movement of smoke. So remember the golden rule, always stay low if there is any smoke in the room, as it can quickly and seriously disorientate you, making the task of getting out safely even harder.