Last year, fire departments around the world responded to many emergency calls to homes that were burning. The families slept peacefully, expecting to wake up to a brand-new day. The fire was silent as it crept through the home like a snake that can only be seen until you hear it. The smoke that start off with a light haze but then gradually thickens to a black, blinding cloud that fills the entire home surrounds your entire body. Sometimes not even the light from a light bulb can penetrate the thickness of the cloud. While you sleep, you don’t see it, you don’t smell it, and sometimes you don’t even feel the heat until it’s too late. Yes, the occasional cough my start and as the smoke thickens, the cough intensifies which means your lungs have had enough of this invader preventing its efforts to breathe.
For some, the light of day would never be seen again. For those who wake up and find that their home is filled with smoke and hotter than it normally is, getting out takes extraordinary efforts. Moreover, getting out alive can bring lasting consequences because the results turn out to be several degrees of burns and smoke inhalation. These burns affect the largest organ that encapsulates the human body. That organ is the skin.
The skin has several primary layers to protect the soft inner organs that lie within our body. The first primary layer is called the epidermis. The epidermis is our outer layer that is in all actuality “waterproof” and determines how light or dark our pigmentation will be. Even more, the dermis has relatives as it goes deeper inside the human body. Those relatives are called stratum basale, stratum spinosum, stratum granulosom, stratum lucidum, and stratum corneum. These are the layers that protects the second primary layer of skin which is called the dermis.
The dermis is the true layer of skin. It contains capillaries and nerve endings. This is also where the sweat glands live. The dermis is extremely sensitive to heat, trauma and anything else that produces pain. The nerve endings become stimulated because they don’t like this pain. When the pain sensors are stimulated, the nerve endings send a message to the brain and spinal cord demanding that some type of evasive action is taken to alleviate the pain. The most prominent indication that is sent back to the nerve endings is to retreat or withdraw from the catalyst that is producing the pain.
Beneath the dermis is the next layer of skin called the hypodermis. This tissue is made of fat and other connective tissue. All the layers of skin feel the heat and produce extreme pain to the point where the lowest level is burned which means the nerve endings are burned to the point where the pain goes away.
One major problem that occurs if one survives these burns is infection, extreme swelling, and edema of the skin. If this happens, the skin is no longer protecting the inner organs and leaves it open for opportunistic diseases which are the type of diseases that we call copycat, because it is easy to invade something since it no longer has protection.
One other problem that can occur when our home is filled with smoke and heat is that our lungs get overtaken by the smoke. It enters through the nose and mouth as we breathe and on the way down it burns our soft tissue in your throat, nose, mouth, and bronchus all the way down to our lungs. When this happens, edema and swelling occurs, and it causes us to have problems breathing. A typical response of the lungs is to start wheezing which is an attempt to push the air in and out through burned and thin passageways. So, to escape the fire in your home and avoid layers of skin being burned while trying to make it to the exit, one must have an early warning system in place.
Ultimately, to protect yourself from being burned you must protect your home from fire. How do you protect your home from fire? Simple! You get a device that is proven successful time after time. Unfortunately, this device is not 100% successful (basically, because of human error) but it has saved the lives of many people who found themselves in the beginning of a deadly residential fire. This device is called a smoke detector.
The smoke detector is relatively inexpensive and can be purchased from places like Home Depot, Lowe’s Department Stores, and even auto parts stores. Additionally, the device is easily attached to a wall or can be plugged into an outlet. One important aspect is to replace the battery every year.
Life is extremely important as we value everything about it. Life is ourselves and life is our children. So, to put life first, one must act serious by installing a safety device in your home. The results will avoid degrees of burns that go down to the deepest layer of your skin, including smoke inhalation and burns in your throat, your mouth, and your lungs.