Health Concerns About Fire & Smoke Damage:
Anyone who has been evacuated from a fire-damaged area is anxious to get back to ordinary life as soon as possible. However, it is important to remember that fire may have affected air quality, water supply and food products. Smoke may cause distress for those persons with lung or heart problems. Surface water systems may be contaminated with ash and debris and heat may have damaged or destroyed outbuildings and equipment used for wells. Also, disinfection of water supplies may have been compromised and the water may not be safe to drink. Heat damaged and/or smoke damaged food items may harbor potentially hazardous bacteria or chemicals.
A safe water supply or an alternate supply of water should be used for drinking and cleanup. Small quantities of water can be disinfected by boiling the water at a full roll for 2 minutes or adding 1/2 drops of bleach per litre of water and letting stand for 30 minutes.