When wildfires create smoky conditions it’s important for everyone to reduce their exposure to smokeexternal icon. Wildfire smoke irritates your eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. It can make it hard to breathe and make you cough or wheeze. Childrenexternal icon, pregnant women, and people with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or heart disease, need to be especially careful about breathing wildfire smoke.
Keep smoke outside.
- Choose a room you can close off from outside air.
- Set up a portable air cleaner or a filterexternal icon to keep the air in this room clean even when it’s smoky in the rest of the building and outdoors. If you use a do-it-yourself box fan filtration unit, never leave it unattended.
Reduce your smoke exposure by wearing a respirator pdf icon[PDF – 329 KB]external icon.
- A respirator is a mask that fits tightly to your face to filter out smoke before you breathe it in.
- You must wear the right respirator and wear it correctly pdf icon[PDF – 2.7 MB]external icon. Respirators are not made to fit children.
- If you have heart or lung disease ask your doctor if it is safe for you to wear a respirator.
- Avoid using candles, gas, propane, wood-burning stoves, fireplaces, or aerosol sprays and don’t fry or broil meat, smoke tobacco products, or vacuum.
- If you have a central air conditioning system, use high efficiency filters to capture fine particles from smoke. If your system has a fresh air intake, set the system to recirculate mode or close the outdoor intake damper.