Insurance researchers estimate that homeowners have a one in ten chance of experiencing a house fire in their lifetimes. If you are lucky, the fire in your home is small and easily extinguished. No matter how small your house fire is, it may not be safe to remain in your house after a fire happens. Here are some reasons you may not be able to stay in your home after a fire.

Why Can’t I Stay In My Home?

Many people want to remain in their homes after a fire is extinguished. It’s understandable that you want to stay in your home, especially if the damage is contained to one part of it. All of your clothing, jewelry, and memories are in your home. You can cook and relax there better than anywhere else on the planet.

However, anytime you have a fire, you have the potential for toxic chemicals. During a fire, chemicals from burning items are released into the air. In a wildfire, the toxic chemicals can escape into the open air and dissipate. But in a home fire, the chemicals can’t completely escape into the open air—so they are dangerous.

What Kind of Chemicals Can be Released During a Fire?

severe fire damage

House fires use whatever they can to continue to fuel the fire and make it grow. Items in your house, such as wires, furniture, flooring, and insulation, have chemicals that are released during the fire. There are even chemicals on your chairs and couches to protect them from stains, which will easily feed a fire. No matter how small the fire was, if you have smoke damage, you most likely have chemicals in the air.

The most common types of chemicals released into the air during a fire are carbon monoxide, which can be deadly in large quantities, asbestos, sulfur, dioxin, and phosgene. Both dioxin and phosgene are chemicals that have been used in chemical warfare. Asbestos has been known to cause cancer in humans and has been banned for use in homes and businesses.

What Are Some Effects of These Toxic Chemicals?

There are several effects these chemicals can have on your body. First, the chemicals and soot from a fire can damage your skin. Your skin can react with pimples, blackheads, and rashes from the chemicals in a fire. If you stay in your home long enough after a fire, you may have premature wrinkles and aging due to collagen loss in your skin.

Chemicals can also cause respiratory issues, especially in young children, seniors, and anyone with lung issues, such as asthma or COPD. You can experience a runny nose and itchy, watery eyes, as well as a constant cough, difficulty breathing, and wheezing. You may even acquire pneumonia and have lasting lung damage.

What To Do After a Fire

If you have a fire in your home, you need to get help right away. You will need an expert team of professionals to do smoke damage clean up and rid your home of all of those problematic chemicals. Top to Bottom Restoration has been helping its neighbors clean up and repair their homes for years. Reach out to us today and let us help your home heal after a house fire.

Fire Damage Restoration by Top To Bottom Renovation


The destructive power of flames from a fire is unparalleled when it comes to damaging property. Top To Bottom Renovation offers fire damage restoration services to address the ongoing damage caused by smoke and soot even after the fire is extinguished. Our fire cleanup crews are prepared to address fire damage emergencies. The building will be stabilized, and boarded up, and fire damage repairs will be completed to restore the property to its original condition.