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Protect Yourself From Wildfire Smoke and Ash In the Home

2 minute read

Year after year, more and more people are displaced from their homes due to wildfires scorching natural landscapes. And the threat doesn’t end when the fire is put out since wildfire smoke and ash linger in the home. Exposure to ash and other residues from the fire can cause irritation to your eyes, nose, or skin and result in coughing or other health issues.

How Wildfire Smoke and Ash May Enter The Home

Wildfire smoke and ash require very little space to enter your home. Unfortunately, once they are inside, they linger and result in serious health problems for occupants. See below for just a few ways these irritants get into your house.

  • Natural ventilation: Through open windows and doors
  • Mechanical ventilation: Through systems with fresh air intake, like bathroom or kitchen fans, heating, or ventilation and air conditioning systems
  • Infiltration: Through small openings, cracks or joints, and around doors

Protective Measures During Cleanup

  1. Children, older adults, and people with heart or lung disease should NOT participate in the cleanup.
  2. Avoid any skin contact with ash by wearing gloves, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes, socks, and goggles.
  3. Protect your lungs from breathing in ash by wearing an N95 respirator.
  4. Use and clean doormats regularly to avoid tracking ash into indoor spaces that are still clean and remove shoes before returning indoors.
  5. Avoid dry sweeping because it kicks up too many ash particles.
  6. Mist hard surfaces, both indoor and outdoor, to keep the dust down.
  7. Choose a HEPA-type vacuum as opposed to a standard household vacuum that will just blow the ash around.
  8. Ensure your drinking water is safe by checking with your provider.
  9. Any fruits or vegetables that are home-grown need to be washed thoroughly if they are from trees or gardens where ash fell.
  10.  Wash your hands well before eating anything at the affected site.
  11. Dispose of ash in your regular trash bin, containing it in plastic bags or other containers to prevent it from being stirred up again.
  12. Contact your local authorities if you suspect any hazardous waste is present.

Add A Portable Air Purifier

A Portable Air Purifier can be installed into your house to help filter harmful irritants like wildfire smoke and ash inside your home. A True HEPA Filter captures 99.97% of airborne particulates 0.3 microns or larger. Paired with the Alumna Oxide and Carbon Filter, clear out any lingering odors. In Smart Mode, the AprilAire portable air purifier can detect your home’s Indoor Air Quality. Setup is quick and simple and the air purifier is light enough to be moved throughout the home.

Order a portable air purifier.

Find a Pro

Establish a Healthy Home with AprilAire Healthy Air Professionals that care. We have over 4,500 pros nationwide who are ready to help you find the best Healthy Air solutions for your home, no matter what your needs may be. Start your journey with AprilAire.

  • Custom Evaluations and Expert Advice
  • Professional Installations and Maintenance
  • Fast and Friendly Local Service

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