Forest Fire Precautions
Daniel F. Soteres, MD MPH
Asthma & Allergy Associates, PC
- People living close to the fire-stricken area should remain indoors
- Ordinary “dust masks” will NOT filter out fine particles that can cause distress.
- HEPA filter masks can filter out small and irritating particles, but they are hard to tolerate for people with breathing problems – like COPD and Asthma
- Children are more susceptible to problems from the irritation of smoke fumes.
- When driving your car in smoky area, close the vents and keep windows closed. Operate A/C only on “recirculate” mode
Recommendations for those with Respiratory Health issues:
- Stay inside as much as possible.
- Set A/C to recirculate mode.
- Your breathing symptoms may worsen so please call your doctor if there is an increase of cough, wheeze or shortness of breath.
- You may need a change in medication to help handle the increased stress.
- If you MUST go outside, use a damp cloth over your mouth to help filter the air.
- If using oxygen at home, do not adjust levels before talking to a doctor.
- If respiratory symptoms are not relieved with usual medications then seek medical attention.
- If you develop a cough, painful breathing, wheezing or shortness of breath then call your doctor.