When smoke levels are high on days during or following a fire, follow these important tips to protect your respiratory health:
-- Remain indoors: If you are not advised to evacuate, limit your exposure
to smoke by remaining indoors. Also, the local federal agency on air
quality recommends restricting outdoor exercise to one hour or less.
-- Protect your indoor air quality: Keep all windows and doors closed,
unless it is too warm indoors. If you do not have an air conditioner
and it is too warm to stay inside with the windows closed, seek shelter
elsewhere. If you have an air conditioner, keep the fresh-air intake
closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting
-- Minimize indoor pollution: Avoid using anything that burns, including
candles, fireplaces or gas stoves. Do not smoke. Also avoid cleaning
activities that stir up particles, such as dusting and vacuuming.
-- Do not rely on dust masks. According to the national Centers for
Disease Control (CDC), paper dust masks, like those found at hardware
stores, are designed to trap large particles, such as sawdust, but will
not protect your lungs from smoke. The CDC says an 'N95' mask, properly
worn, will offer some protection from smoke.
-- Cooperate immediately with local authorities: Promptly follow all
evacuation instructions. Even if you are not instructed to evacuate but
reside where there is a lot of smoke from an ongoing fire, consider
staying in an area where there is less smoke.
-- Maintain doctor-prescribed medication and respiratory care regimens: If
you have asthma or other chronic respiratory disease, follow your
treatment regimen, and contact your physician if your condition
|SOURCE Barlow Respiratory Hospital|
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