Wildfires can result in dangerously high levels of air pollution. Thus it is important to be prepared and know how to protect yourself from the wildfire smoke. Wildfire smoke contains dangerous small particles (PM2.5) that can cause serious health effects. So the next time there is a major wildfire (i.e. California), how can you protect yourself from the pollution and wildfire smoke?
3 Steps to Protecting Yourself From Wildfire Smoke
1) Stay Indoors and Close Windows
The easiest thing you can do to protect yourself against wildfire smoke is to stay indoors and seal your home from the outdoors. This includes shutting all doors and windows, to decrease the amount of wildfire smoke entering your home.
Just staying inside and limiting the amount of outdoor air that enters your home can reduce the smoke air pollution you breathe by 40%.
2) Wear a Mask When Outdoors
For most areas affected by wildfire smoke, the most dangerous air pollutant is small particulate matter called PM2.5. Fortunately, masks are great at filtering this out!
One of the best masks for filtering out air pollution from wildfire smoke is an N95 mask. An N95 mask is designed to filter out 95% or more of dangerous small .3 micron particle matter.
But what if you can not get your hand on an N95 mask? Well a surgical mask does a decent job as well filtering out these dangerous PM2.5 particles produced by the wildfire smoke. A standard surgical mask can reduce PM2.5 particulates by 63%, much better than nothing!
3) Turn On an Air Purifier When Indoors
Air purifiers are the best way to ensure you are breathing pollution and smoke free air inside. Purifiers with HEPA filters are extremely effective at capturing danger PM2.5 particulate matter found in wildfire smoke. While closing your doors and windows can reduce PM2.5 pollution by 50%, HEPA air filters can reduce PM2.5 from wildfire smoke by over 99%.
When selecting an air purifier, make sure the air purifier is powerful enough for your space size. With a sufficient air purifier(s), you can nearly eliminate wildfire smoke’s dangerous PM2.5 particulate matter from your home.
How I Protect Myself
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