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Posted on September 15, 2021 in Firm News

Every year around this time it seems that there is one wildfire or another that is being reported in the news.  Wildfire smoke is a mix of gases and fine particles from burning vegetation, building materials and other materials.  The air fills with smoke and even the healthiest person can be affected from it.  Breathing in smoke can have immediate health effects such as coughing, trouble breathing normally, stinging eyes, scratchy throat, runny nose, irritated sinuses, chest pain, headaches, tiredness, fast heartbeat, asthma attack, wheezing and shortness of breath.

There are ways to protect your health and be safe if your exposed to wildfire smoke.  If possible limit your exposure to smoke.  

  • Pay attention to local air quality reports, watch for news or health warnings about smoke.  
  • Pay attention to visibility guides if they are available, not every community measures the amount of particles in the air.  
  • If you are told to stay indoors, stay indoors and keep your air as clean as possible.  
  • Use an indoor air filter with particle remover to protect you and your family.  Change you air conditioner’s filters.  
  • Do not add to indoor pollution by burning candles, fireplaces, smoking tobacco, or other products that add more pollution to the air.  Do not vacuum because vacuuming stirs up particles already inside your home.  
  • Do not rely on dust masks for protection. Paper dust masks trap large particles and do not protect your lungs from smoke.  An “N95” mask, properly worn will only offer some protection.
  • Follow your doctor’s advice about medicines and about your respiratory management plan if you have asthma or another lung disease or cardiovascular disease.  Call your doctor if symptoms worsen.

Remember that wildfires can make anyone sick.  Even someone who is healthy can get sick if there is enough smoke in the air.  Just make sure to keep you and your family as safe as you can.