Smoke from a fire contains a mix of gases, particles and chemicals. If you breathe in smoke, you may experience temporary eye, nose and throat irritation. People with asthma or other cardiovascular or respiratory conditions may be more vulnerable to health effects from smoke exposure.
Follow these tips to stay safe in the short-term if there has been a fire in your building or in your neighborhood.
After a fire in your building, it could take several weeks for the smells to go away. During this time, it’s important to clean thoroughly and ventilate as much as possible to improve indoor air quality.
Air purifiers vary widely in their ability to remove air pollutants, though some may improve indoor air quality (PDF). Always follow manufacturers’ recommendations for using air purifiers.
Keep in mind:
If there was a fire in your area and you are experiencing shortness of breath or chest pains, get medical attention immediately.
See your doctor if you have asthma, heart disease or another health condition that is getting worse. You do not need to see your doctor for minor irritation.
If there has been a fire in your neighborhood and you are concerned about the air quality, call 311.