Calgary registered a 10+ on the Air Quality Health Index, meaning it is a very high risk. Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services warned symptoms of increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath due to the smoke from the northern wildfires. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease such as asthma, are especially at risk. To reduce exposure to the current conditions, Alberta Health Services recommends:
- Reduce presence of smoke in indoor environments:
- 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 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 closed position.
- Close fire place dampers on wood burning fireplaces.
- Do not use wood burning fireplace, wood stoves or other smoke-producing appliances or features, including candles.
- If you must drive to another location, keep windows and vents closed. Run car fans on re-circulate mode to avoid drawing in outdoor air.
- Reduce levels of physical activity, as necessary, to decrease the inhalation of airborne pollutants.
- Do not smoke tobacco – smoking puts added stress on your lungs and those around you.
For more information about the air quality advisory, please visit the AHS’s web page, or call 811 Health Link Alberta.