The lingering smoke in the air on my way to work had me wheezing in minutes this morning. And most of that time, I was in the car with the windows rolled up. If you feel the same way, here are some tips for staying safe from today's wildfire smoke.

Smoke and ash from wildfires burning in Canada and here in New Jersey seem worse than ever, with many people complaining of irritated sinuses, runny noses, scratchy throats, headaches, and tiredness.

South Jersey is facing another day with a Code Orange Air Quality Alert, and, especially thick concentrations of smoke in the air. These conditions could make it dangerous to spend long amounts of time exercising or working outside today.

Here are some tips from the CDC to protect yourself and your family from the wildfire smoke.

    • Keep track of air quality ratings in your area to assess risk.
    • Minimize exposure by staying indoors as much as possible.
    • Protect your indoor air quality by keeping windows and doors closed.
    • Don't burn candles, vacuum, or use aerosol sprays—they're all sources of indoor pollution.
    • If your home has air conditioning or a high-efficiency particulate air filter, use it.
    • Avoid unnecessary exercise or exertion, both indoors and out.
    • If you do go out, reduce indoor pollution by showering and changing clothes when you return.
    • If you use a rescue inhaler, keep one on hand.
    • Pay close attention to symptoms and seek medical help at the first sign of trouble.

Smoke levels will vary considerably due to fire conditions and wind directions.

People who are at higher risk such as young children, the elderly, and people with heart or lung conditions should consider taking precautions when smoke conditions worsen.

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