Wildfires: Clearing the Air You Breathe

Wildfires: Clearing the Air You Breathe

Wildfires are raging on the West Coast of the United States, but they have the potential to happen anywhere. Wildfires can start with little to no notice and quickly become uncontrollable, destroying everything in their path. However, it’s not just the flames causing damage; the smoke is just as dangerous, if not more.

Smoke inhalation can cause serious and permanent damage, and the effects can sometimes take years to feel. Thankfully, there are ways you can help keep the air in your home clean. High-efficiency air particulate (HEPA) filters and purifiers are available at your local Walmart, Target, Sears, etc.

These purifiers and filters can greatly reduce the amount of smoke in your house. Simply close all doors, windows and other openings. Isolate your living space during the day to maximize the effectiveness of the purifiers and filters; at night, isolate your bedroom.

If your home is equipped with a heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, you may have the option to recirculate the air inside. All this means is instead of pulling fresh air from outside the house, it recirculates the air. When your house is surrounded by smoke, the last thing you want is your HVAC system sucking the smoke into your home.

Smoke is dangerous, especially during wildfires because you don’t know exactly what the smoke is coming from. Chemical vapors can easily be carried by the smoke, which you may eventually breathe in, causing serious harm or death. At the very least, you should try to keep respirators in your home, just in case a fire breaks out in your area.

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