Safety precautions issued as a result of Sylmar wildfires

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Due to the recent wildfires in Sylmar and other L.A. areas, the American Lung Association has issued safety tips. People with respiratory problems such as asthma, emphysema and bronchitis should monitor their breathing and exposure to airborne matter and consult with a physician immediately, should problems develop.

REMAIN INDOORS People living in fire-stricken areas should stay indoors to avoid smoke inhalation, ashes and particular matter in the air.’ Keep doors, windows and fireplace dampers shut and set air conditioners to the recirculation setting so outside air will not be moved into the room.

REFRAIN FROM EXERCISING OUTSIDE It is recommended that people in the immediate and surrounding areas of the fires refrain from exercising outdoors; particularly if they smell smoke or notice eye or throat irritation.

KEEP CAR WINDOWS CLOSED WHILE DRIVING When driving your car through smoky areas, keep your windows and air vents closed. Air conditioning should only be operated in the ‘recirculate’ setting.

IN AFFECTED AREAS, do not go outside if at all possible. The best protection is to avoid exposure. Masks are no substitute for avoiding the exposure all together.

MASKS can help reduce exposure if you have to be outside in high smoke areas. If caught unexpectedly in a smoke situation, a damp rag would likely be better than nothing, but it has greater limitations.