In the past few years, it seems that there has been an increase in the unfortunate event of wildfires. Oftentimes wildfires happen naturally and can even be extinguished naturally or easily controlled. More and more, however, we are seeing wildfires spread into residential areas, beyond the control of local and nationwide fire extinguishing efforts.
Even more so than the fire itself the smoke from these fires has had an even greater reach and effect across our nation and around the world. We have seen smoke from California wildfires reach the east coast and Canadian wildfires blow smoke through the Midwest United States.
Of course, if you are in the immediate path of a wildfire, you are at great risk and should evacuate but what do we need to know about wildfires as citizens who aren’t in the immediate path or even in the same state?
Are You at Risk?
When it comes to wildfire smoke in your area, it is important to know if you are at high risk of health complications due to exposure to this kind of smoke. While smoke inhalation is never encouraged there are a few demographics of people it can be especially dangerous for. This includes the following:
- Older adults
- Those with heart or respiratory conditions
- Pregnant women
How Can You Reduce Your Risk During Wildfires?
Whether you fall into a high risk category or not, it is important to do what you can to limit your exposure to wildfire smoke and protect your health and safety. Here are a few ways you can do that.
Monitor Local Air Quality
Today, with smartphones, apps, and easy access to live news coverage it is easy to monitor your local air quality. The United States has adapted a system which uses a color coded system from green to red to communicate air quality. Anything less than green should be monitored.
Stay Indoors When Possible
When smoke is in your area or the air quality is poor you should stay indoors as much as possible. This also means you should do what you can to keep your indoor air clean. Keep doors and windows closed and even take extra measures to be sure they are sealed off. You can consider investing in an air purifier, as well, to ensure the air you are breathing is safe.
Don’t Rely on Masks For Safety
Most masks you can buy at the store are designed to stop large particles like sawdust but won’t be effective in stopping you from inhaling small particles like smoke.
Evacuate When in The path
If you find yourself in the direct path of a wildfire, you should comply and listen to what local news and law enforcement are advising you to do. Most of the time this will involve evacuating your home. We know this can be hard, but gather all your essentials and most important items and leave as soon as possible.
Cleaning Up After A Wildfire
After a wildfire has passed, both smoke and flames can do damage to your home. Returning home or cleaning up damage on your own can put you at risk for increased exposure to soot, ash, and other toxins. For fire and smoke damage repair it is best to call in the professionals to get the job done safely. For Smoke damage restoration in Springfield, Ohio, call our team at Reliant Restoration.