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Indoor Air Quality and Wildfires: What You Need to Know

5 min read

Areas that are prone to wildfires — like deserts or large, dry forests — see thousands of acres burn each year during wildfire season. The flames aren’t the only danger caused by wildfires, however. Smoke and ash from large fires can cause poor air quality hundreds of miles from an active fire.

Learn to protect your family from wildfire smoke, even if you’re not in the immediate path of a fire.

How Do Wildfires Affect Indoor Air Quality?

Smoke from a wildfire is a mix of gases and particles that form when wood and other materials burn. The fine particles in smoke are what pose the biggest health risk. Just as allergens like pollen can cause irritation, particles in the wildfire smoke can cause a runny nose, burning or itching eyes and illnesses like bronchitis.

The smokey, outdoor air can enter your home and cause health issues in a couple of ways, such as:

When the smoky air enters your home, the indoor air quality gets worse.

How to Test Your Indoor Air Quality

Knowing how good your indoor air quality is can help you figure out the best way to improve it. Use an at-home air quality testing kit to find out if you have other irritants in the air before the fire season starts. Knowing what irritants — like pet dander or mold — are already present in your home allows you to get rid of air quality issues before wildfires start spreading smoke to your home.

If you use an at-home air quality test and find major air quality issues, you might want to consider following up with a professional to make sure there are no immediate threats.

Prepare for Wildfire Season by Creating a Clean Room

One of the best ways to protect your indoor air quality from wildfire smoke is to create a clean room in your home. A clean room is a designated room that is closed off from outside air and uses air purifiers or other equipment to keep the air fresh and safe.

Follow these tips to create a clean room:

How to Improve Indoor Air Quality During Wildfires

A clean room isn’t the only way to protect your family and improve the air quality in your home. Improve indoor air quality throughout your home with these tips:

Even if you live in an area that doesn’t see many wildfires, or you don’t smell smoke, the particles from nearby fires could pose a health risk to you and your family. Knowing how to deal with wildfire pollutants and maintain good indoor air quality helps reduce the chance of smoke-related medical issues during the fire season. Be prepared by investing in the equipment you need and creating a clean area in your home before the outside air quality deteriorates.

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