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A sickly orange haze obscured views from Manhattan offices on June 7, 2023. A byproduct of Canadian wildfires, smoke has traveled the jet stream into several US states, diminishing air quality. In some eastern locations, it’s currently unsafe to work or recreate outdoors.
Please take a moment to read these important safety tips.
Poor air quality can lead to breathing difficulties and other health concerns. If you have employees who typically work outdoors, consider alternatives such as requiring respirators and reducing outdoor work hours. (Note: If employees do not have formal training in how to use a respirator, they will need alternative arrangements for this smoke event.)
Smoke typically enters buildings in three ways:
To keep harmful contaminants at bay:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoke exposure can cause a range of symptoms — from coughing, stinging eyes, runny nose, and a scratchy throat to headaches, a fast heartbeat, chest pains, and trouble breathing. If you or any of your employees experience these signs and symptoms in an area affected by Canadian wildfire smoke, it’s important to move indoors to an area with a filtered air system. If symptoms persist, please see a healthcare provider.
For more health information, please review the CDC’s website: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/wildfires/smoke.html and https://www.cdc.gov/air/wildfire-smoke/default.htm. To check the air quality index for your exact location, please visit: https://www.airnow.gov/.
NOTE: As of May 31, 2023, 1,800 Canadian wildfires had burned over 2,728,769 hectares of land. Many fires are still burning, and due to jet streams, smoke and air contaminants have reached the US. Many people are finding it difficult to go outside for any duration of time.
If you have questions or need additional information, please reach out.
Connect with the Risk Strategies Property team at email@example.com.
About the authors
Amy Hahn, a Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS), assists clients in identifying property-related risks and ways to mitigate them, including analyzing exposures to catastrophes.
Ken Cullen has over 30 years of experience in property loss prevention. He works with industrial and commercial corporations worldwide.
Jon Dickson served as an OSHA Consultant for the State of Missouri's Department of Labor and Industrial Relations for seven years. He also spent four years as the Health, Safety, and Environmental Service Manager for the Builders' Association prior to joining Risk Strategies.