Protect Yourself from Breathing Wildfire Smoke

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)РMore and more people live in areas prone to wildfires. Wildfire smoke can harm you in multiple ways. Smoke can hurt your eyes, irritate your respiratory system and  worsen conditions for those who have chronic heart and lung diseases. Even someone who is healthy can get sick if enough is smoke in the air. If possible, limit your exposure to smoke. Here are some tips to help you protect your health:

  • Pay attention to local air quality reports and the U.S. Air Quality Index. When a wildfire occurs in your area, watch for news or health warnings about smoke. Pay attention to public health messages and take extra safety measures such as avoiding spending time outdoors.
  • Pay attention to visibility guides if they are available.Although not every community measures the amount of particles in the air, some communities in the western United States have guidelines to help people estimate air quality based on how far they can see.
  • If you are told to stay indoors, stay indoors and keep your indoor air as clean as possible.Keep windows and doors closed unless it’s very hot outside. Run an air conditioner if you have one, but keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside. Seek shelter elsewhere if you do not have an air conditioner and it’s too warm to stay inside with the windows closed.

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