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Health officials offer tips to guard against smoke damage

Jul 23, 2013 - Staff

The following precautions will help people avoid the negative effects of smoke damage or smoke inhallation during the dry summer months when wildfires are likely to impact local residents.

Limit your exposure to smoke

If it is smoky enough for you to stay indoors, keep indoor air as clean as possible. Keep windows and doors closed unless it is extremely 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. If you do not have an air conditioner and it is too warm to stay inside with the windows closed, seek shelter elsewhere.

Do not add indoor pollution. When smoke levels are high, do not use anything that burns such as candles, fireplaces or gas stoves. Do not vacuum, because vacuuming stirs up particles already inside your home. Do not smoke, because smoking puts even more pollution into the air.

Follow your doctor's advice about medicines and about your respiratory management plan if you have asthma or another lung disease. Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen.

Do not rely on dust or surgical masks for protection. Paper "comfort" or "dust" masks commonly found at hardware stores are designed to trap large particles, such as saw dust. These masks will not protect your lungs from smoke. The best way to protect yourself is to avoid exposure to smoke as much as possible.

For more information contact Fremont County Public Health, 332-1073 or 856-6979.

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