Summer is pretty much here, so along with the beaches, hikes, BBQ’s, festivals, and all the other things we enjoy in the warmer months, it also means one other thing here in BC—wildfires. In the interior, too many families lose their homes and livelihoods to this recurring ordeal. I count myself lucky that we don’t suffer to that extent here on Vancouver Island, but even hundreds of kilometres away, we felt some effects. For the past few summers, the air has been noticeably smoky. We woke up to a haze that seems to last forever, plants died on our balconies, and those of us with respiratory issues had to spend the summer indoors.

Odds are, this year won’t be any different, so here are some tips we’ve found for you this summer if air quality becomes compromised in your area:

  • Reduce/avoiding strenuous physical activity.
  • Restrict physical activity in the cooler morning or evening hours.
  • Don’t wear a mask.
  • Seek large air-conditioned buildings.
  • Check your car’s air filters.
  • Keep abreast of air quality advisories.
  • Keep the windows and blinds closed while the sun is up.
  • Install an air conditioner (recommended with a health efficiency particulate air filter).
  • Drink plenty of cool, non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Place a bowl of ice in front of a fan to create a cool breeze.
  • Avoiding smoking or burning materials inside your home.
  • Avoid using the oven and instead cook on the stovetop or BBQ outdoors..
  • Spend time in the cooler rooms of your home, like a basement.
  • Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Take a cool shower or bath.
  • Avoid getting a sunburn when out in the sun

If you’d like to learn more, you can check out these other resources:

https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-feature/wildfires

https://bc.lung.ca/news/latest-news/tips-protect-your-health-during-forest-fire

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/smoky-air-safety-1.4234611

Finally, if you’re in BC, you might be eligible for wireless emergency alerts. You can check if your phone is compatible here: https://www.alertready.ca/wireless/

Kael Campbell is President and Lead Recruiter of Red Seal Recruiting Solutions, a company providing recruitment services in mining, equipment and plant maintenance, utilities, manufacturing, construction, and transportation. When he is not recruiting, Kael spends as much time as possible with family in the great outdoors and on the water. He volunteers his time as a Board Member of the Entrepreneurs Organization of Victoria and a Member of Victoria Marine Search and Rescue. You are invited to subscribe to our employer newsletter or submit your resume.

 

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