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FAQ Topic: Health and Safety

Swimming Pools Impacted by Smoke & Ash

The following guidelines are recommended for the maintenance of pools impacted by smoke and ash contamination or fire damage. Do not allow use of the pool until the following steps have been completed: Clean skimmer baskets of debris and skim water surface of pool with pool net to remove floating debris. Brush sides and bottom … Continued

Sensitive People, Children, and Pets

Sensitive People People with asthma or other lung diseases, pregnant women, and the elderly or very young should exercise special caution because they may be more susceptible to health effects from the ash. Children Do not allow children to play in ash. Wash and clean all children’s toys carefully after possible contamination. Children should not … Continued

Health Effects of Ash

Fire ash may be irritating to the skin, nose, and throat, and may cause coughing and/or nose bleeds. Fine particles can be inhaled deeply into lungs and may aggravate asthma and make it difficult to breathe. If the ash contains asbestos, nickel, arsenic or cadmium, then exposure is a particular concern because these substances can … Continued

Use Caution!

Wear sturdy shoes (steel toes and shanks are recommended) and clothing Hazardous chemicals and conditions may be present Inspect propane tanks for visible damage before turning on Covering clothing is recommended, when in proximity to ash. Wear gloves, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants to avoid skin contact, whenever possible. Goggles are recommended. Contact with wet … Continued

Cleaning and Sanitizing

Cleaning and sanitizing your household after an emergency is important to help prevent the spread of illness and disease. Clean and sanitize surfaces in a four-step process Wash with soap and hot, clean water. Rinse with clean water. Sanitize by immersing for 1 minute in a solution of 1 cup (8 oz/240 mL) of unscented … Continued

Keep Your Indoor Environment Clean

Frequently clean indoor surfaces and follow by wet mopping to reduce exposure to ash indoors. Use only high efficiency particulate air (HEPA-filter) vacuum cleaners. Shop vacuums and other common vacuum cleaners do not filter out small particles, but instead can put particles back into the air where they can be inhaled. For more information: Returning to … Continued

Keep Ash Away

Do not allow children to play in the ash and wash off children’s toys before children play with them. Immediately wash any part of your body that touches ash to avoid irritation. The best protection for children is to keep them indoors to reduce their exposure until ash has been removed. Wash fruits and vegetables … Continued

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