Reduce Your Smoke Exposure
When wildfires create smoky conditions, there are things you can do, indoors and out, to reduce your
exposure to smoke. Reducing exposure is important for everyone's health — especially children,
older adults, and people with heart or lung disease.
Reduce smoke exposure indoors
•	Stay inside with the doors and windows
closed. Whether you have a central air
conditioning system or a room unit, use high
efficiency filters to capture fine particles
from smoke. Ask an air conditioning	.
professional what type of high efficiency
filter your air conditioner can accept.
•	Seek shelter elsewhere if you do not have
an air conditioner and it is too warm to stay
inside with the windows closed.
•	Do not add to indoor air pollution. Do not
burn candles or use gas, propane, wood-
burning stoves, fireplaces, or aerosol sprays.
Do not fry or broil meat, smoke tobacco
products, or vacuum. All of these can
increase air pollution indoors.
•	Use a portable air cleaner to reduce indoor
air pollution. Make sure it is sized for the
room and that it does not make ozone,
which is a harmful air pollutant. Portable air
cleaners can be used along with efficient
central air systems with efficient filters to
maximize the reduction of indoor particles.
Create a "clean room" in your home. Choose
a room with no fireplace and as few windows
and doors as possible, such as a bedroom.
Use a portable air cleaner in the room.
Have a supply of N95 respirators and learn
how to use them. They are sold at many
home improvement stores and online.
Long-term smoke events usually have
periods when the air is better. When air
quality improves, even temporarily, air out
your home to reduce indoor air pollution.
Use a portable air cleaner to reduce
indoor air pollution

Reduce smoke exposure outdoors
•	Take it easier during smoky times to
reduce how much smoke you inhale. If
it looks or smells smoky outside, avoid
strenuous activities such as mowing the
lawn or going for a run.
•	Know your air quality. Smoke levels can
change a lot during the day, so wait until
air quality is better before you are active
outdoors. Check your state or local air
quality agency's website or airnow.gov for
air quality forecasts and current air quality
conditions. On AirNow, you can also sign up
to get email notifications, download an air
quality app, or check current fire conditions.
In addition, some communities have visual
range programs where you can assess smoke
conditions by how far you can see.
•	Have enough food and medication on
hand to last several days so you don't have to
go out for supplies. If you must go out, avoid
the smokiest times of day.
Reduce smoke in your vehicle by closing
the windows and vents and running the air
conditioner in recirculate
mode. Slow down when
you drive in smoky
Do not rely on dust masks or bandanas for
protection from smoke. If you must be out
in smoky conditions, an N95 respirator can
protect you, if it fits snugly to your face and is
worn properly.
Have a plan to evacuate. Know how you
will get alerts and health warnings, including
air quality reports and public service
announcements (PSAs). Public advisories
can provide important information such as
changing smoke conditions and evacuation
notices. Know your evacuation routes,
organize your important items ahead of
time, and know where to go in case you have
to evacuate.
Reduce your risk of health problems:
Have enough medication and food (enough for more than 5 days) on hand.
Follow your health care provider's advice about what to do if you have heart or lung disease.
If you have asthma, follow your asthma management plan.
If you feel sick, reduce your exposure to smoke and contact your health care provider.
Pay attention to public service announcements, health advisories, and air quality advisories.
For more information:
•	Get air quality information: Check your local news, the airnow.gov website, or your state air quality agency's website.
•	Learn about home air cleaners: https://www.epa.qov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/quide-air-cleaners-home
•	Find certified air cleaning devices: http://www.arb.ca.qov/research/indoor/aircleaners/certified.htm
•	Learn how to use an N95 respirator mask: http://www.bepreparedcalifornia.ca.qov/ResourcesAndLinks/Lanquaqes/
Documents/Enqlish/ENG ProtectLunqsSmoke7208color.pdf
•	Fires — Current Conditions: https://airnow.qov/index.cfm?action=topics.smoke wildfires
•	Learn more about wildfire smoke: Wildfire Smoke, A Guide for Public Health Officials:
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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency • EPA- 452/F-18-003