Western Canada is in the midst of another season of life-threatening wildfires. The combination of dry conditions and a small spark can be all it takes to cause these powerful forces of nature to do a great deal of damage that can reach far and wide.
(Source: BC Wildfire Service via Twitter)
Why isn't indoor air quality being mentioned on the news?
With these wildfires becoming an annual trend in recent years, one wonders why so little information is distributed about indoor air quality in affected areas. It is a little-known fact that the clouds of smoke that come as a result of these wildfires reach a lot further than many people are aware. Even those who appear to be well out of harm's way could potentially be breathing in a far less quality of air, both out or even in their homes.
Source: CTV News Vancouver Children, the elderly and those suffering from conditions like asthma are especially at risk in these circumstances.
Proper air filtration is your first line of defence
One way to combat the negative effects to the air quality caused by these wildfires is to make sure your home’s air filter is up to standard and still performing at a high level. Homeowners should check the state of their air filters more often during these times and gauge the condition of their filter by performing an eye test. If your filter seems particularly dark or dirty, one shouldn’t hesitate to replace it as soon as possible. Below is a comparison of a new filter with a filter after just ONE WEEK of use in wildfire zones
Breathing in a lesser quality of air has the potential to have long-term effects on people of all ages and even more so to the more susceptible demographics. Your home should be equipped with a MERV 13 (or higher)
air filter in order to properly handle smoke and fumes. Anything under a MERV 13
does not have the efficiency level to deal with the current conditions in affected wildfire zones in the western provinces. For more information on the MERV rating system, please visit this link
. Homeowners should also continuously run the fans on their furnace during these times, to effectively increase a healthy amount of air flow through their homes.
To our friends out West affected by wildfires, please good take care
In these troubling times, it is important to be educated and informed about all that comes with the threat of local and semi-local wildfires. It is not merely the immediate threat of the fires themselves, but the often undetected threat of poor air quality that ourselves and loved ones are breathing in. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by the tragic wildfire conditions in Alberta and British Colombia and we urge everyone to put their safety first and foremost.