Fire and Smoke Safety Tips
Provided by Ananse Taharka, MD, Emergency Medicine and Pulmonary Specialty
1) The most important thing is safety from fire and smoke. Refuge from the area or as far as possible is key.
2) For poor air quality even miles from the fire, people with lung and heart disease in particular should stay indoors. Places with air conditioning or some kind of air filtration system would be best.
3) Education around wildfire prevention is important to make sure one’s habits don’t contribute to the problem. Being careful with campfires, burning trash or debris and of course cigarette butts.
4) Don’t worsen indoor air quality with smoking tobacco, incense, candles.
5) Bring outdoor exercise routines inside.
6) Have a resource for regular updates on air quality.
7) Have an Asthma or COPD Action Plan:
– If one must go out into bad air one should use a short acting inhaler 30 minutes before leaving.
– Continue maintenance inhalers as prescribed.
– If no action plan, then one should be obtained.
Short-acting inhalers, steroids, and especially in those 35 yrs and under with asthma, EpiPen may be needed to execute an Action Plan.