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Wildfire smoke…steps to reduce your exposure

Wildfire smoke is affecting air quality this weekend. Smoke creates hazy skies, but it can also take its toll on your health. Protect your health by reducing your exposure to smoke. Here are some ways you can do this:

  • limit or avoid time outdoors when the air quality is unhealthy. 
  • Keep windows and doors closed until air quality improves. If you don’t have air conditioning and your home is too hot, seek shelter at a friend’s or family member’s home, or a public space.
  • Improve the filtration in your home by using an air conditioner, set to re-circulate not fresh-air intake. Make sure to change the filter as the manufacturer recommends. It may fill faster when smoke is prolonged.
  • Create a “cleaner-air room” in your home using a HEPA filter and change the filter more often when it’s smoky. Some room air cleaners can help reduce particulate levels indoors, as long as they are the right type and size for your home. EPA Guide to Air Cleaners in the home and List of California certified indoor air cleaning devices. If you don’t have a HEPA filter, make a Do-it-yourself Home Box Fan Filter.
  • Avoid adding to indoor pollution by not smoking or using candles, incense, sprays, fireplaces, or gas stoves. Don’t broil or fry food. Don’t dust or use a vacuum unless it has a HEPA filter.
  • Check your vehicle air filters, make sure they are HEPA equivalent and change them more frequently when it is smoky.
  • If you have children in school, daycare, sport clubs or other events that take them outdoors, ask the program providers what their plans are for smoky conditions. Will outdoor activity be adjusted when the Air Quality Index is over 100? Review this AQI guide for schools and outdoor event coordinators.
  • Pets can be affected by wildfire smoke too.
  • For more information, visit our wildfire smoke webpage

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