Staying Safe During Times of Poor Air Quality

With wildfire smoke affecting the county, it's important to consider what you can do to lessen the impact of poor air quality.

Wildfire smoke is causing poor air quality and reducing visibility at times. Very high AQHI values are being reported through much of Alberta and are expected to remain high through the mid week in central and northern regions. Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk.

Ways to stay safe during poor air quality:

  • Close and lock all outside windows and doors, including attached garage doors.
  • Turn down furnace thermostats and furnace fans to the minimum setting. Do not attempt to extinguish the pilot light.
  • If you have an air-conditioner, keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.
  • Avoid running fans, such as “whole-house fans” or “fresh air ventilation systems” that bring more smoky outdoor air inside.
  • Switch all floor registers to a closed position.
  • Close fireplace dampers on wood-burning fireplaces.
  • Avoid strenuous activities.

If you or those in your care are exposed to wildfire smoke, consider taking extra precautions to reduce your exposure. Wildfire smoke is a constantly changing mixture of particles and gasses which include many chemicals that can harm your health. For more details, please visit the Canada Website, Alberta Health Services, or The Air Quality Health Index.

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