How Smoke from Fires Can Affect the Air Quality and Your Health

How Smoke from Fires Can Affect the Air Quality and Your Health

March is fire prevention month in the Philippines. Let’s talk about the air you breathe in your neighborhood. Have you ever experienced inhaling smoke from fires nearby? How did your senses react to it? Some people are more sensitive to it than others. And to tell you the truth, it may smell good for some, but breathing smoke isn’t a good idea at all. Here’s why.


Fires Affect the Air Quality

If you live near an area with long grass and bushes, note that they burn up quickly during summer. When the smoke from fires like this gets heavy, it can affect the quality of the air you breathe and may lead to health risks. 

Smoke is made up of a complex mixture of gases and fine particles that is created when wood and other organic materials burn. What’s more concerning here are the fine or microscopic particles that can penetrate your lungs. These are the common causes that can trigger a range of symptoms, especially in vulnerable people like those with asthma and allergic rhinitis.


How to Determine if Smoke is Affecting You?

When greatly exposed to harmful smoke from fires, it can trigger some health concerns and symptoms. Some health issues you may encounter when this happens include the following:

  • For everyone: Burning sensation in your eyes, runny nose, cough, wheezing, and difficulty in breathing.
  • For people with heart disease: Symptoms may be worse. You might experience palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath, and fatigue.
  • For people with lung disease: You are one of the most vulnerable to smoke from fires. You might find it quite difficult to breathe and may encounter cough, chest discomfort, and wheezing. 
  • For people with diabetes: You are more likely to have underlying cardiovascular disease. 

Apart from these, some people are more at risk: 

  • Older Adults: In some cases, older people are more susceptible to diseases and are more vulnerable than younger people.
  • Children: The respiratory systems of kids are still developing at their age. They tend to breathe more air pollution as they breathe more air than adults. Plus, they are more likely to stay outdoors as they love to play. 
  • Pregnant Women: Extra careful for pregnant women as breathing smoke may have potential health effects not only to you but on the baby as well. 

As you can see, whether or not you have health problems, smoke from fires will still affect the air quality around you and your health as well. 


Ways to Protect Yourself

When there is smoke from fires, it is important to limit your exposure, especially if you are among the people who are more at risk. Here are some of the things you can do before and during a fire near your area.

  • Always have on-hand face masks that can capture fine particles such as N-95 and P-100 masks. Wear them when there is smoke in your neighborhood. 
  • Get quality and reliable air purifiers that could help you improve indoor air quality by keeping the particle levels inside lower. During a fire, most of the time, you are advised to stay indoors. It would help to have equipment that can help protect you indoors from the harmful elements in the air.
  • Make sure you have extra stocks of the basic medicines and the ones you need for emergency purposes.
  • Guide your activities. If you smell smoke, it’s obviously not an ideal day to do your outdoor activities.
  • Follow the instructions of the authorities in your area. It would also be ideal to have a list of contact information for the emergency hotlines.

When it comes to your health, it is always best to be extra careful. Avoid breathing smoke from fires as much as possible and get value-for-money air purifiers that could help keep the indoor air quality safe for you and your loved ones. 

If you haven’t decided which air purifier you should get, contact us. Let’s see which one is best for you. 

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