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    "If you've been injured through no fault of your own you could be entitled to compensation. If you're unsure if you could claim, I recommend you call Accident Advice Helpline."

    Esther Rantzen

    Potential burn hazards: Inhaling smoke or toxic fumes

    Potential burn hazards: Inhaling smoke or toxic fumes

    Inhaling smoke or toxic fumes can be deadly and is a serious cause of accidents at work. In fact, most deaths that are caused by fire are not as a result of burns but rather smoke inhalation.

    Why is inhaling smoke or toxic fumes more dangerous than burns?

    Smoke can incapacitate the body. It is easy to become overwhelmed by smoke and lose consciousness. Many of the materials which are present in the modern workplace are synthetic and produce dangerous carcinogens when they catch fire. Fire will consume oxygen in any burning building, resulting in a slow burning process, the result of which is smoke and other toxic gases.

    Smoke is made up of a number of components, each lethal in its own way.


    Particles are unburned and partial substances which can penetrate the breathing passages and lodge in the lungs, which can cause severe breathing difficulties. Some are actively toxic, whilst others can be irritating to the eyes and digestive systems.


    Vapours are fog-like droplets of liquids which have been partially burned and can be extremely poisonous if inhaled or absorbed in any way through the skin.

    Toxic gases

    The most common toxic gas and one which is relatively well known by all, is Carbon Monoxide (CO). CO can be extremely deadly, even in small quantities, as it replaces oxygen within the blood stream. Another toxic gas is Hydrogen Cyanide, formed when plastics are burned, such as PVC piping, and can cause severe respiration problems. Phosgene is produced when some household materials are burned such as vinyl. Phosgene can cause severe irritation to the eyes and an itchy throat and, in some severe instances, can be fatal

    If you’ve suffered an accident in the course of your work, as the direct result of smoke inhalation or toxic fumes, within the last three years and it wasn’t your fault, then you may be entitled to claim compensation. Contact Accident Advice Helpline today for more information. Our lines are open 24/7 where a friendly, professional advisor is waiting to take your call. All claims are made on a 100 per cent no-win, no-fee** basis. At Accident Advice Helpline, we aim to make every step of the claim process as transparent and efficient as possible. This is the reason why we publish handy guides like the above so that you can prevent accidents from happening in the workplace, and so that you know your rights should an accident unfortunately occur.

    Accident Advice Helpline (or AAH) is a trading name of Slater and Gordon UK Limited, a company registered in England & Wales with registration number 07931918, VAT 125 446 327, registered office 50/52 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1HL and is an approved Alternative Business Structure authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for insurance mediation activity.

    Disclaimer: This website contains content contributed by third parties, therefore any opinions, comments or other information expressed on this site that do not relate to the business of AAHDL or its associated companies should be understood as neither being held or endorsed by this business.

    No-Win No-Fee: *Subject to insurance costs. Fee payable if case not pursued at client's request.