Wildfire smoke contains gases and fine particles from the structures and plants and trees that were burned. Breathing in this smoke can cause:
- Coughing and wheezing
- Asthma attacks and trouble breathing
- Stinging eyes
- Runny nose and irritated sinuses
- Scratchy throat
- Chest pain
- Fast heartbeat
Here are ways to protect yourself from feeling the effects from wildfire smoke:
Keep smoke outside and limit indoor smoke exposure: Have a dedicated room to close off from outside air and keep it clean by filtering the air. Also avoid using candles, gas, propane, fireplaces and wood-burning stoves, and aerosol sprays. Do not fry or broil meat, smoke, or vacuum. Make sure your central air-conditioning system has high efficiency filters as well as they will capture the fine particles from wildfire smoke. If you’re air-conditioning unit has a fresh air intake, set it to recirculate mode.
Be aware of conditions if you must go outside: Monitor current air quality conditions before venturing outside and also limit your time outdoors. Focus on essential outdoor work and activities and take frequent breaks indoors. Remember to wear a respirator when going outside as well, but some health conditions require you to reach out to your doctor to see if a respirator is safe for you. As always remember to get medical attention if you need it.
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