Take steps now to be ready for unhealthy air quality this summer.
Air pollution caused by wildfire smoke is an increasingly common health concern in the Pacific Northwest.
While wildfires most often occur in mid to late summer, you can take steps now prepare your household and workplace for unhealthy air quality. Keep in mind that some supplies, such as fans, filters, and air conditioners, could be more difficult to obtain during summer months.
Smoke from fires is unhealthy for everyone.
Smoke from wood fires contains tiny particles and gases that can enter your lungs and bloodstream and cause mild to severe health problems. Exposure to smoke is unhealthy for everyone.
Take steps to prepare for wildfire smoke season.
- Choose a space in your home — such as a living room or bedroom — where you can keep air cooler and cleaner when air quality outside is unhealthy.
- Seal gaps around doors and windows that could allow smoke to enter your home.
- Consider purchasing an air purifier for your home or work, or make a box fan filter (see the link to instructions below).
- Talk to your healthcare provider if someone in your household is at higher risk from smoke. If you have a breathing condition such as asthma, make sure you have an inhaler and any medications you might need.
- Plan indoor activities for smoky days.
Some groups of people are at higher risk for serious health problems from smoke, including. Click the banner below for more information.
Making a box fan filter!
You can make a filter to clean air in your home by attaching a furnace filter to the back of a box fan using tape or a bungee cord. Be sure to only run the fan when you are home and to change out the filter when it gets dirty. Learn more: Video tutorial and More information.
How to check air quality and forecasts: https://www.pscleanair.gov/
It is important to stay informed of current air quality conditions so you can take steps to protect your health.
Several agencies monitor and report air quality conditions and forecasts for our area. Here are some useful resources:
- Puget Sound Clean Air Agency website (pictured above) provides simple recommendations based on current air quality and risk level.
- Washington Smoke Blog features and air quality map, updates on wildfire activity, and links to resources.