70-85% of all Death in Fire are due to Smoke inhalation . Carbon Monoxide (CO) is major toxin responsible for most fire related fatalities.
It’s often called “the silent killer” because It’s odorless,colorless, and incredibly deadly. CO is present in virtually all fires, and is lethal in concentrations as low as 0.5500PPM and incapacitating in even lower concentrations.
Engulfed in smoke, it’s difficult to see,breathe or communicate. People exposed to smoke quickly lose the clear headedness mobility and orientation that are vital to a safe escape. Panic-stricken victis often hyperventilate,gulping in massive amounts of Toxic smoke and fumes and greaty hastening their demise. Shockingly, the time interval from detecttion to death can be as little as 60 seconds
Worldwide estimate of premature deaths due to only wood smoke is 2.7 to 3million. with respiratory illness being the largest killer of infants. Health and Evironment in Sustainble Development,World Health Organization,1997 p.242