Wednesday, June 30, 2021

The Air District urges Bay Area residents to take action to protect their health before major wildfires impact the region and warns residents of the dangers of lighting fireworks this Fourth of July.

Spare the Air Status

Setting off personal fireworks displays is especially dangerous this year given the drought and extremely dry conditions. Fireworks can cause high levels of particulate matter close to the ground and significantly increase the risk of wildfires and further smoke impacts.

During wildfires, air pollution has real and significant health consequences, even for those without pre-existing conditions. Bay Area residents can prepare for wildfire smoke by following these tips:

Weatherize the home in preparation for wildfires by replacing or refurbishing old, leaky windows and doors; use caulking to seal the openings.

  • Consider purchasing a non-ozone producing air purifier to create a cleaner air room in the home.
  • Consider purchasing a MERV 13 or greater filter for your HVAC system.
  • Consider upgrading to an HVAC system that allows for both heating and cooling and has the mechanism to switch to recirculate to prevent smoke from entering the space.
  • Individuals with health conditions should talk to their physicians to develop a personal plan for smoke.
  • Identify locations in your community that have cleaner filtered air spaces such as indoor shopping malls, local libraries, cooling centers, community centers, civic centers and local government buildings.
  • Make a plan to go to a cleaner air location if you are unable to seal your home or if dense smoke occurs during hot weather events.

Wildfire preparedness tips, school air quality recommendations, information on air quality data and more is available on the Air District's Wildfire Safety web page.

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Last Updated: 6/30/2021