It’s smoky outside! What can I do?

It’s smoky outside! What can I do?

While Tasmania generally enjoys good air quality, smoke from wood heaters, planned burns and bushfires can sometimes make us feel unwell. Smoke can make existing health conditions worse. Those aged over 65, particularly those who have a lung or heart condition, are at higher risk.

If you notice the air is smoky, here’s what you can do

  1. Make sure you and anyone you care for are safe from any immediate fire danger.
  2. Actively manage symptoms. Follow asthma action plans for managing asthma or flare ups of any other health conditions if these are in place.
  3. Reduce the smoke you and others breathe.
    • Stay indoors with your windows and doors closed. Avoid physical activity outdoors.
    • If there is a break in smoky conditions, open the windows and air out the house or building.
    • If you use an air-conditioner, set it to ‘recycle’ or ‘recirculate’.
    • If a lot of smoke from outside gets in or the house gets too hot, consider visiting a friend’s place, or a nearby library, shopping centre or sports centre.
    • Consider using a portable air cleaner with a high-efficiency particulate air or HEPA filter.
    • Be cautious using facemasks. Simple paper or cloth face masks do not provide protection from smoke. Specialised ‘P2’ masks, available from most hardware stores, will filter smoke particles but they require an air-tight seal between the mask and your face to be effective.
    • Keep track of smoke by using the free AirRater app, or visiting the Department of Health’s air quality information page

For more information, visit the Department of Health’s air quality information page