Frequently asked questions about wildfire smoke
What can I do to protect my health from smoky skies during fire season?
The best and easiest solution is to stay inside where you will be exposed to the least amount of smoke. To prevent smoke from getting inside, keep your windows and doors closed and turn on your air conditioner — but make sure it’s set to recirculate so that the air keeps going through the filter. The better the filter, the better you’ll be protected.
What can I do to protect myself when outdoors?
For when you must go outside, wear a single-use N95 mask that can filter up to 95 percent of the large particles in the air. For these masks to be most effective, they need to fit correctly on the face. Choose adult or child sizes for everyone in your family, and keep in mind people with facial hair may not get a snug enough fit for maximum protection.
What can I do to protect myself when indoors?
During fire season, limit household habits such as burning candles or using a gas stove and try not to vacuum as much. Vacuuming stirs up settled particles and releases them back into the air. Even if a dirty carpet drives you crazy, remember you’re trading tidiness for clear lungs — and only temporarily.
Who is most vulnerable to poor air quality?
Smoke will affect children, seniors, and people with asthma and allergies the most. If you experience trouble breathing, chest pain, coughing, headaches, a runny nose or a scratchy throat, contact your primary care provider or schedule an Urgent Care Video Visit. Seek emergency care or call 911 if you are experiencing chest pain, irregular or rapid heart rate, increased trouble breathing, wheezing,blue lips or fingernails, or coughing or vomiting blood.
Finally, always pay attention to your local air quality reports to know when it is safe or unsafe to go outside.