Breathing wildfire smoke can contribute to adverse health effects, especially for those with certain preexisting health conditions and those who are sensitive to air pollution.
Steps for everyone to take during periods of elevated wildfire smoke:
- Supervisors and instructors inform personnel and students of worsening air quality and guidance to limit impacts.
- Stay hydrated by drinking water.
- Stay inside, if possible, in a room with filtered air (HEPA preferable) with the doors and windows closed. Select a location with an air conditioner if it is too warm to stay inside with the windows closed.
- Do not add to indoor air pollution. Avoid the use of aerosol sprays and vacuuming, which can increase indoor air particle levels.
- Do not overexert yourself and avoid outdoor strenuous activities so you can reduce how much smoke you inhale.
- Wearing an N95 or KN95 respirator can reduce the amount of smoke particles you inhale.
- Know your air quality. The AirNow.gov website is the preferred way to check your local air quality. Select the Fire and Smoke Map to monitor levels closest to your specific location.
- Stay tuned to local media for changes in smoke or weather conditions.
Supervisors of outdoor workers, please ensure of the following:
- Training: Communicate wildfire smoke hazards by notifying personnel of the worsening air quality and ensure personnel complete the EH&S Wildfire Smoke Safety training initially and annually.
- Respiratory protection: Inform personnel of the option to voluntarily use respiratory protection and provide respiratory protection upon request.
- N95 and KN95 respirators are available for units to purchase from the Clean and Safe Storefront.
- Provide UW personnel who voluntarily wear respirators the Advisory Information for Employees Who Voluntarily Use Respirators.
- Fit testing is not required when respirators are worn voluntarily.
The EH&S Wildfire Smoke Safety website provides additional safety information for personnel working outdoors for more than one hour who may be reasonably expected to be exposed to wildfire smoke.
Contact EH&S at email@example.com or (206) 543-7388 with questions.